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Feb-11-2014 19:54printcomments

UK Prepares for 'U.S. Pain Champion', Lynn Webster, MD Who Pushes 'The Low Risk of Addiction to Opioids'

The UK may also not be aware that the DEA raided Dr. Webster's pain clinic in Utah and there is an ongoing DEA investigation into the toll of deaths at his clinic.

Lynn R. Webster, MD
Lynn R. Webster, MD

(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - The self-proclaimed pain champion physician of America, Lynn Webster, MD will be speaking at the 15th Annual Phase I&IIa Clinical Trials to be held on February 25 and 26 in Lancaster London UK.   Prevention of Unintentional Death in Chronic Pain Management
Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM, American Academy of Pain Medicine, CRI Lifetree
0.75 credits

This is part of the conference write-up on Webster and his expertise in the field of pain management that may have the UK in awe of the resume of the good doctor -- but right now he is rather toxic to the medical profession in the U.S.

    For 25 years he treated patients with chronic pain, many of whom were at high risk for substance abuse. For 15 of those years, he also treated individuals with opioid addiction. The dual role lends Dr. Webster a valuable perspective: He is dedicated to treating patients in pain while simultaneously working to minimize the potential for harm from pain medications.

    As developer of the Opioid Risk Tool (ORT), he is considered a world expert on how to assess patients for abuse risk with opioid medications. The ORT is currently used in multiple countries and thousands of clinics worldwide. He spends most of his time now developing safer and more effective therapies for chronic pain and campaigning for safer use of medications.

More on Dr. Webster's "Opioid Risk Tool" and why the UK may need a shovel to dig out from under what Webster will try to plant in the UK. In the meantime, here is some information that may dispute the "valuable perspective" Webster will be providing to the medical profession in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Dr. Webster was quoted in a publication called 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. Since the Senate Finance Committee is investigating Webster and the American Academy of Pain (which is funded by the pharmaceutical industry and which Webster has served as President) for their financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the UK may find the statement that the U.S. is in a "public health crisis" and "not an epidemic" as relates to the soaring addictions and deaths to opioids around the country interesting.

The UK may also not be aware that our Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raided Dr. Webster's pain clinic in Utah and there is an ongoing DEA investigation into the toll of deaths at his clinic. Are things getting too hot for Webster in the U.S. as his credibility with the medical profession wanes and investigations into his affiliations are waged? The UK may be very inviting to him since the UK receives less than half the pain medication as the U.S. according to the "Drug Control and Access to Medicines Consortium", a UK academic research group that studies issues related to medicine and drugs. This could very well be fresh bait for Webster as he becomes the shark swimming into the UK to play down the risks of addiction and death to opioids.

So what can the snake oil doctor pull out of his suitcase to remain valuable to the pharmaceutical industry in pushing opioids for non-cancer, long term use in the UK? Now the extra strength snake oil is revealed -- it's called the "Opioid Risk Assessment" form as designed by Dr. Webster for use by the medical profession.

 My edits in Italics:    

ORT: Opioid Risk Tool (could also be referred to as the Fisher-Price ORT by the medical profession)

Reprinted With Permission from Lynn Webster, MD


  • Length/Time: 5 items, less than 1 minute to administer and score (yes 1 minute to administer and know risks)
  • Developed by: Webster & Webster, 2005
  • Target Population: Adults
  • Intended Settings: Primary care
  • Assesses: Risk of aberrant behaviors when patients are prescribed opioids for chronic pain
  • Administered by: Self-Report
  • Copyright: Yes
Evidence (Keep in mind that Webster's pain clinic is under DEA investigation for unexplained deaths so don't take the evidence too seriously)
  • Provides excellent discrimination between high risk and low risk patients (Passik, et al, 2008).
  • Exhibited a high degree of sensitivity and specificity for determining which individuals are at risk for opioid abuse (Webster & Webster, 2005).
  • Patients categorized as high-risk on the ORT have an increased likelihood of future abusive drug-related behavior (Chou et al., 2009). (How about becoming addicted or dying Dr. Webster - that is of increased likelihood when prescribing opioids and you avoid it?)
Screens for risk of deviant behaviors associated with substance abuse in pain patients. (How do you accomplish this in 1 minute Dr. Webster?)
Preferable to SOAPP in low-risk populations (Passik, et al, 2008)
Brief, simple scoring tool that is validated in pain populations (Passik, et al, 2008).
  • Validated for both male and female patients (Webster & Webster, 2005).
One question on the ORT is limited by the patient's knowledge of family history of substance abuse (Passik, et al, 2008).
  • Not validated in non-pain populations.
Now for the infamous "pain champion's" 1 minute opioid risk test that he will be encouraging the medical profession to utilize in the UK when he speaks at a conference the end of the month:


 Mark Each Box That Applies
Score if Female
Score if Male
 1.  Family History of Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs
 2.  Personal History of Substance Abuse
  •  Alcohol
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs
3.  Age (Mark Box if 16-45 years)
4.  History of Preadolescence Sexual Abuse
 5.  Psychological Disease
  •  Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Bipolar Disorder; Schizophrenia
  • Depression

Total Score ________Risk Category_________

Low Risk 0-3
Moderate Risk 4-7
High Risk >7

If the medical profession in the UK is not offended by the ORT designed by Dr. Webster -- they should be. A high school student could have come up with something better. Don't allow what happened in the U.S. to happen in the U.K. because Dr. Webster convinced American physicians that opioids had a low risk of addiction -- as low as 1% written by Webster in his book "Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain."

Just as a "head's up" to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when Webster arrives for the conference the end of this month, you will not hear -- "one if by land - two if by sea". You will know the self-proclaimed pain champion of the U.S. has been successful at convincing your medical professionals of the low risk of addiction to opioids when you don't have the facilities to treat those addicted -- and when you can't keep up with the production of body bags.

LP - Please let me know when the last train to Clarksville is at the station - I want a first class ticket.  Love you.



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