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Feb-01-2010 15:42printcomments

Purdue Pharma's Values or the Grim Reaper Walks Amongst Us

Purdue Pharma - "We believe in doing the right thing"
Drug-abuse Drugs History Oxycontin Business Fraud Legal Crime

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - "Honesty, integrity, and respect for the individual are at the core of our culture. We are committed to improving the lives of patients in meaningful and positive ways – from finding and developing safe and effective medicines, to manufacturing them at the highest levels of quality, to demonstrating their value and proper use. We are equally committed to upholding the highest ethical standards, and to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations."

Marianne Skolek

The above is posted on Purdue Pharma's website. The insane thing is these guys actually believe that they have honesty and integrity even after the epidemic of OxyContin deaths and addictions throughout the U.S. and Canada because of their past and present marketing tactics.

In their Face of Pain website, two nurses employed by Purdue Pharma posted "personal" experiences with loved ones and their pain. Below are excerpts of their postings.

For me, this is more than a job, it is personal. As an ICU/Trauma nurse I could put a breathing tube in someone, shock their heart back to life, and yet when it came to treating the pain associated with my grandfather “Bumpa’s” head and neck cancer I felt helpless. The training I had received did little to prepare me to help this man I dearly loved. Fortunately, I had a guest lecture by a hospice worker while in nursing school. I asked my Bumpa’s physician for the hospice consult and he reluctantly agreed. I watched the skilled nurse do a pain and symptom assessment and was amazed not only by the expertise but by the recommendations he made. My Bumpa was comfortable and the act of competent compassion led to him living the rest of his life in comfort and dignity. This impacted not just my grandfather, but my family. This experience showed me the need for professional education in pain assessment and management. It also showed me the need and the value of self-advocacy and advocating for others. Change starts with each one of us.

Another Purdue Pharma nurse posted on the Face of Pain website the following story about an 87-year old woman who lives in an Assisted Living Home.

The Purdue Pharma nurse claimed the woman suffered every day from pain for over 20 years -- and also ironically the 87 year old woman was her family member. She goes on to "personalize" her family member with her favorite television programs. When asked by this Purdue Pharma nurse what her elderly relative did all day in the Assisted Living Facility, she posted on Purdue Pharma's website, "I sleep, eat and poop -- not necessarily in that order."

Professional? You be the judge. And my question would be -- with all the pain medication on the market in the past twenty years -- both over the counter and prescribed, why would this family member be suffering for 20 years? I'm not even going to touch on the grandfather with the affectionate nickname. Totally inappropriate for a professional to say she felt "helpless" and that the physician "reluctantly" agreed to a hospice consult. Physicians realize the importance of hospice and do not have to be coaxed to order one. Could it be that this story lends itself to the words "undertreatment of pain" and more Purdue Pharma publicity in fueling this "epidemic of pain" we have in this country?

One of Purdue Pharma's "foster children" a funded pain society was quoted as saying "You never see on a death certificate that people die of pain, but people die of pain all the time."

You also never see on a death certificate that anyone dies of a broken heart, but there are scores of parents throughout the country who will die of broken hearts because a very dangerous drug named OxyContin was marketed as less likely to be addictive or abused -- and their children are dead. These dead loved ones also had nicknames and also had favorite television shows. But the difference is they don't have a $10 billion pharmaceutical company marketing their drug with the words "undertreatment of pain." They also aren't paid huge salaries to personalize their loved ones stories in a way to "humanize" the grim reaper of pharmaceutical companies. There also is no drug for a broken heart.

I was a nurse in a hospital working an Oncology floor and an Infectious Disease floor for twelve years. Every patient was treated with dignity and compassion and medicated for pain. We always asked patients the following question regarding their pain level -- "On a scale of 1 to 10 - with 10 being the worst pain possible -- what is your pain level?" It would be documented and pain medication ordered by the physician and dispensed by the nurse immediately. When they were discharged from the hospital, they left with prescriptions for pain medication. We never heard the words "undertreatment of pain." Nor did the patients complain of the "undertreatment of pain."

I have included an excerpt from a Pain Assessment Scale shown on Purdue Pharma's Website Partners Against Pain. You will notice on the "Smiley Face" pain drawings on Purdue's site.

No Hurt with a smiling face and a (0) shown
Hurts Little Bit with less of a smile and a (2) shown
Hurts Little More with no smile and a (4) shown
Hurts Even More with a frown and a (6) shown
Hurts Whole Lot with a big frown and an (8) shown
Hurts Worst with a big frown and crying and a (10) shown

Since I don't trust these guys in their continued marketing of OxyContin most recently for something they called "pregnancy pain" and then for the "undertreatment of pain in newborns and pediatric patients", I will be asking the FDA to determine if the pain scale above with the smiley faces shown is another attempt by Purdue Pharma to thumb their noses at government agencies in place to protect the American people from the "grim reaper of pharmaceutical companies" -- and continue their reign of addiction to an even more expanded group of people -- the very young -- who are graded in school for good performance with "smiley face stickers." My question to the "grim reaper" is -- do you see where I'm going with this?

=========================================== Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin 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 who pled 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 7-1/2 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.
You can send Marianne an email at:

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jeff gonzalez October 5, 2012 4:13 pm (Pacific time)

Purdue Pharma is the most corrupt company on earth. It's the DEA and FBI retirement plan. They have "created" over one thousand new high paying positions in the last ten years to reward public sector employees, including FDA, state medical board, and many others. While in public service they become Purdue puppets to make sure the"big plan" is going as planned. The heirchy of the cartel is complex to say the least, but is almost like an Amway network marketing structure. They do whatever it takes to get to the top and it doesn't matter who gets hurt on the way up.

MrRenaldo June 14, 2010 8:42 am (Pacific time)

I started researching these SOBs after learning that the leading pain management 'textbook' in Canadian medical schools was published by none other than Purdue.  
I am apalled by the ...

Editor: Your comment was cut off; please resend if you can, thanks!

MrRenaldo June 14, 2010 8:46 am (Pacific time)

Great work. I am appalled by the open, grinning hypocrisy of Purdue and companies like it. They honestly do not care who they hurt as long as they can buy that new 500 foot yacht....

Pharma Market Reports February 3, 2010 4:13 am (Pacific time)

I just liked this post, Good job keep posting and continue with your job.

Joanne Peterson February 2, 2010 6:17 pm (Pacific time)

You are truly a hero with your articles. THANK YOU for your relentless courage, we met briefly at the sentencing for Purdue and I am very proud of you for writing these articles and standing up to the monster drug company who has killed so many people and ruined so many lives. I am one of the parents who lives with fear and uncertaintly every day because of their marketing. GOD BLESS YOU! Joanne Peterson Learn to Cope Boston Mass.....

Josh A. February 2, 2010 5:40 pm (Pacific time)

I love your articles... I know you will save at LEAST one life in your work. I'm betting you will probably directly save handfuls, or already have. I admire you because my own mother would have "them" by the neck too if something ever happened to me like that. You really have an impact. I just wanted to say that. Everyone in my family has taken Oxy at one point or another, and your words help me stay away from this crap.

Jeff Kaye~ February 2, 2010 5:55 am (Pacific time)

As usual, Marianne nails it -and these crooked greedy bastards - to the wall. I've a feeling Ms. Skolek will be famous for initiating the beginning of the end of this rogue company's exploitation of our communities' unsuspecting victims of Oxycontin and similar vile concoctions. Thanks to GP for pointing out the obvious (and safe) alternative; medical cannabis. Purdue and other pharmaceutical corporations will fund the fight against the legal use of cannabis to the death, hopefully theirs. We're losing thousands of our youth, who're abusing this "hillbilly heroin" in alarmingly increasing numbers, yet the government and mainstream media make nary a squeak in protest. I signed the petition, and urge everyone else to do the same. If you have a personal loss or struggle to relate, there's your venue to do so. My own experience with Oxycontin is that it did nothing for my pain, save doubling it when I didn't take the damned pill. I got my pain doc to gradually cut my dosage in half, and substitute with safer alternatives like Lyrica, Tramadol, and Elavil. I was thus able to quit using this useless (for me) pharmaceutical formulation designed to rake in massive profits for its maker. I cannot use cannabis in my state of Texas, and probably won't as long as "W" lives here. But I will speak out in public and in private to end the big pharma monopoly on pain management...when it is so easy to grown the safe natural alternative in your garden. Does anyone else smell a rat? Can you say bribery? Kickbacks? Corruption much? Time to end the tyranny and restructure the ONDCP's DEA, NIDA, and the FDA etc. to work in the interests of public health, not corporate wealth.

OxyMom February 2, 2010 6:57 am (Pacific time)

Are they seriously saying that pregnant women and newborns need pain medication? Pregnancy is a natural state. There are various discomforts associated with it but pain that needs narcotics???? And for babies? I don't remember being a baby but I do remember excruciating earaches as a young child. Aspirin generally took the worst of that pain away quickly. Do they want to make drug addicts out of the entire world? On reflection maybe they do. That would mean more money for Purdue and that seems to be the only thing that is important. I think Purdue should pay for the long term rehab that is necessary to help heal the addictions that result from taking their drug OxyContin(R). That is, if the patient manages to survive without fatal overdose long enough to seek help.

gp February 1, 2010 4:04 pm (Pacific time)

As a retired nurse, I can tell you that that obnoxious pain scale has been used universally in health care for many years and started to be used after federal hospital regulations about pain needing to be assessed and documented were instituted. People's perceptions of pain are unique to the individual but I must say I have never had a patient say 8,9,or 10. I attended a pain management lecture in the early 90's where the discussion of addiction in terminal patients was discussed. I have always been shocked at the number of nurses who are afraid to give adequate pain medication to terminally ill people. Anyhow, I am not in any way down playing the drug company's ad campaigns,the dangers of the drug oxicotin or the fact that many of the best pain meds are dirt cheap,like cannabis. Oh, and one other thing, nurses frequently speak in unprofessional ways,they are not all cookie cutter sisters but come from various lifestyles.

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