Sunday May 19, 2013
Opioid Use: When is Enough Really Enough Dr. Webster?Marianne Skolek Salem-News.com
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it." Martin Luther King
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - Last week I wrote about Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) filing a Citizens Petition with the FDA for stricter guidelines in the prescribing of dangerous and addictive opioids for pain. If you would like to comment on PROP's Citizen Petition, click on link www.regulations.gov/#!
Dr. Webster was quoted in Newsday in January 2012 as saying about the prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. and Canada -- "I am not sure I would use the word epidemic. There is a public health crisis, but not an epidemic." Webster said critics too often "overstate" the degree to which people are addicted.
In February 2012, John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote about Lynn Webster, MD. Actually many people fighting for tighter controls in the prescribing of opioids have credited Mr. Fauber with being responsible for the U.S. Senate launching an investigation into the prescription drug epidemic. www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/PainManagement/31254
In Dr. Webster's book "Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain - A Guide for Practitioners" published in 2007, he wrote "Exposure Does Not Equal Addiction - It is a myth that everyone who takes opioids for chronic pain becomes addicted to the medication. This mistaken view is common even among many physicians. True opioid addiction that results from long-term opioid therapy is relatively rare." Relatively rare? No Dr. Webster that's why there is a Senate investigation because prescription drugs have flowed freely from the physicians - to their prescription pads - to their patients - to be filled at their pharmacy based on false information given by you, other physicians and the AAPM necessitating a Senate investigation.
Webster also states in a section of his book entitled "Prevalence of Addiction in Chronic-Pain Patients - In truth, the prevalence of drug abuse and addiction in patients treated with opioids for chronic pain has not been established because of the lack of prospective studies. However, the extent to which opioids prescribed for pain actively foster an addiction that did not already exist has sometimes been exaggerated particularly in the popular imagination." That has to be a comfort to families desperately trying to find a rehab facility to treat the tens of thousands of people with "imaginary" addiction.
The good doctor has worked as a consultant and adviser to most of the companies in the opioid analgesic market and now admits that the pain community got some of it wrong. "We overshot our mark, all well-intended, I believe. We certainly have a lot of reverse education that needs to occur. The problem is pain is complex. There is a whole family of opioids and we have not figured out how to best identify the individuals who can benefit long term." This falls under the category of a little too late Dr. Webster -- and I don't know of anyone dealing with addiction who would buy the words "well-intended" in the push of opioids for moderate pain and long-term therapy also.
There is a video made in March 2011 wherein Dr. Webster states some interesting facts at the Annual Conference of AAPM. A link to the video is provided. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kso2zSxgcE This video is worth viewing -- especially by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee investigating Webster. The video begins with a chronic pain patient giving her testimony as to being prescribed more and more opioids. The pain patient is Betty Tully now a member of PROP petitioning the FDA for tighter controls in the prescribing of opioids. The video progresses to Webster saying "I used to say there is no upper limit to give opioids. I would not do this now -- enough is enough."
So what is it Dr. Webster? Enough is enough -- or it's never enough -- just keep patients on long-term opioid prescriptions. Pseudoaddiction or addiction -- doesn't matter we have a nation of dead and addicted individuals in the tens of thousands. But it may matter to the U.S. Senate when they view this video and question why Webster and his funded by pharma organization AAPM are upset with an effort by PROP to save lives.
A group has been formed called Professionals for Rational Opioid Monitoring and Pharmaco-Therapy (PROMPT) to counter PROP's Citizen Petition. paindr.com/chronic-
In a Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Education System entitled "Opioids in the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain - Independent Study - June 30, 2001 - September 30, 2007, a list of names is given as "Faculty and Planning Committee". Jeffrey Fudin is listed as a member of this Committee. The disclosure in this study reads "Faculty members have provided the following information regarding their significant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) and/or profiler(s) of commercial services discussed in an education presentation."
Jeffrey Fudin listed himself as "on the Speakers Bureau for Purdue Pharma" -- maker of OxyContin and under Senate investigation.
Another member of PROMPT is Russell Portenoy, MD, long associated with the maker of OxyContin, and also under Senate investigation. Michael Brennan, MD is Vice Chairman as is Steven Weisman, MD -- both coincidentally speakers for the maker of OxyContin. Both have a financial interest/relationship or affiliation in the form of consultant for Purdue Pharma.
Interesting that PROP members are not tied to the prescription drug epidemic by association with the companies under investigation by the U.S. Senate, but PROMPT's chairman and members walk right up to the front door of the headquarters office of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut.
So tell me Senate Finance Committee members -- think this is like reading a sinister Edgar Allan Poe story -- or are some of these characters true life and responsible for a holocaust of death in unprecedented modern day proportion? Scary stuff, huh?
LP - Da best is da best -- love you for the laughter, peace, faith, support and fun - from you to me and me to you. Did I cover it all?
Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 8-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.
Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
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