9/29/2012, Critics say pharmaceutical firms spurred the increase in prescriptions for narcotic painkillers


The increase of the VA’s opioid use coincided with the agency’s adoption of the “Pain: the 5th Vital Sign” campaign . Initiated and promoted by the nonprofit American Pain Society before the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan operations, it urged doctors to check for patients’ untreated pain as regularly as they monitored heart rate, blood pressure and other wellness signs.

Oh, I see, today we’re blaming the American Pain Society for recognizing pain as a vital sign. No, the increase in the VA’s use of opioids coincided with America’s wars and the need to treat veterans with PTSD and chronic pain.

Kolodny and others also have pointed to the American Pain Foundation’s publications — some funded directly by drug companies — that soft-pedaled the risks of opioid painkillers while at the same time promoting the drugs for uses unsupported by research. “They were part of a brilliant campaign to change the way physicians prescribed opioids,” he said. “And they created a widespread public health crisis.”

No, Mr. Kolodny, you and yours have created this alleged epidemic.  And tell me, how is getting funded by the federal government less of a conflict of interest for you and Phoenix House? Everyone is funded by someone, right Kolodny?  Yes, people dislike Big Pharma, but I think they dislike the government even more.  Are you sure you picked the right side here, sir?  Do you think you’re on the right side of history?

And I just want to say thanks so much for helping to get rid of one of the few associations for pain patients.  You’ve left us all broken and beaten, without any kind of representation.  If the federal government pays to represent you, Kolodny, and all the other anti-drug advocates, why can’t it also pay to represent pain patients?

The pain foundation suddenly shut down five months ago. Days later, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee announced it was opening an investigation into connections between the foundation and several supporting pharmaceutical companies.

Funny, I’d like to see an investigation into the federal government’s connections supporting every single anti-drug advocacy group on record.  (I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure sounds true.  Who else, except maybe Sheldon Adelson?)

Citing “an epidemic of accidental deaths and addiction resulting from the increased sale and use of powerful narcotic painkillers,” Sens. Max Baucus and Charles Grassley said they wanted to learn if the manufacturers had used the American Pain Foundation — and other nonprofits — as a vehicle to promote their products irresponsibly.

Like the federal government uses the medical industry as a vehicle to promote its unscientific anti-drug policies and continue the failed drug war?  Oh my god, has all of America’s “elite” turned into hypocrites?

I’m sorry that the families like the one mentioned in this article have had to face the tragedies of the drug war by losing loved ones.  I think veterans are even more at risk because of the combination of both PTSD and chronic pain, and it’s upsetting every time I read about the loss of another veteran.  But almost every American knows someone who’s been a casualty of the drug war.  And politicians who allow these tragedies to wrongly influence public policy are causing even more tragedies.

So, which drug do you want to blame today?  Next week?  Ten years from now?  I seriously don’t understand why this is so hard to grasp — it’s not the drugs, people.  The drug abuse is just a symptom. Hard to believe why the medical community can’t seem to grasp this fact either.

Do you think this veteran would have taken too much prescription medication if his pain was being adequately managed?  Or did this veteran just give up?  Hard to tell the real story from this article, because the veteran, Lance Pilgrim, is only mentioned in the caption for the photo accompanying the article.  How sad is that?

I can’t say this enough:  No. More. Drug. War.

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