“…crucial efforts to steer physicians away from prescription opioids — addictive pain medications involved in the deaths of more than 165,000 Americans since 2000.”
How much more effort will it take? How much more fear can be instilled in doctors and patients?
Pain medications are not addictive for the majority of people who take them, so to describe them as such is just pure ignorance. Let’s see the number for the amount of Americans who have taken pain medications since 2000 without becoming addicted. Because believe it or not, opioids provide benefits to tens of millions of Americans. And while it’s easy to throw around huge numbers like 165,000 (within a 16-year period), the truth is that the percentage of Americans who suffer from an opioid addiction is very low (0.6% of the population).
“An estimated 78 Americans die from heroin and prescription opioid overdoses every day.”
For comparison, according to the CDC, in 2013 there were 113 suicides every day.
The CDC also says that “firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (56.9%).” When will the government force gun manufacturers to make an abuse-deterrent gun? When will they force gun owners to buy a more expensive, abuse-deterrent model?
“The FDA already has begun moving in the direction suggested by companies, mapping out a process for removing older opioids from the market when newer versions are shown to be more effective at thwarting abuse.”
How many other drugs are considered effective only because they’ve been shown to thwart abuse? Is that the purpose of these medications, or is their purpose to treat pain? Has the FDA determined that it’s not important to show how effective the abuse-deterrent opioids are at treating pain? Because as a 30-year intractable pain survivor who’s taken almost every prescription opioid, I find it hard to believe that these new formulations work better, or even as well as, ubiquitous painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet.
Some drugmakers aim to replace ubiquitous painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet with harder-to-abuse formulations that are patent-protected and command higher prices — a plan that could cost government-funded health programs hundreds of millions of dollars in higher medication expenses…
#DearCDC: A basic principle of medical ethics says that when you have an intervention that works, you don’t introduce alternatives unless there are significant advantages. Please share with the public which alternative treatments for chronic pain show significant advantages over opioids for a majority of patients. In other words, prove that the CDC’s guidelines are in compliance with the basic principles of medical ethics.