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Jul-25-2010 01:53printcomments

Fear Drug Pushers? Add Purdue Pharma's Pain Societies to the List

"How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!" - Mark Twain


(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - This week, Lisa Humphrey, MD and medical director of the pediatric palliative care program at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio was quoted as saying -- "Recognizing and treating pain in children can be a challenge. Unlike adults, kids may not cry or complain when in pain." Instead Humprhey says children exhibit other symptoms such as refusing to eat or drink, becoming quiet, withdrawn, having trouble sleeping, becoming fussy and showing other changes in mood or behavior. "If their child is not acting like themselves" Humphrey says, "then we should look at pain management so children can go back to their job at hand, which is to have fun and explore."

And when these children have been treated to "pain management" at an early age, Dr. Humphrey -- will you be treating them for addiction to opioids when they become teenagers?

Zeev Kain, pediatrician at the University of California-Irvine is quoted as saying it is not enough to hand parents a prescription. Doctors and nurses need to make sure parents will actually give the medication. Kain feels that children are suffering needlessly. "If 86% of parents think their child is in pain -- then 86% should have given the child pain medication. "If they think their child is in pain but don't give them anything, that is where we have failed." "Many don't realize that a child in pain may become withdrawn" Kain says.

Ideally, parents should give the medication continuously rather than waiting for children to complain of severe pain, says psychologist Michelle Fortier, PhD of the University of California-Irvine. (Dr. Fortier is a 2009 grant recipient of the American Pain Society).

I was particularly interested in the quotes of Humphrey, Kain and Fortier -- especially the reference to a child becoming "withdrawn" because of pain. I wonder if these "experts" in the undertreatment of pain in children will be submitting studies on "withdrawal" when these children progress from Tylenol for the treatment of pain to opioids. Dr. Kain recommends filling painkiller prescriptions as soon as kids are discharged so that the medication is available if kids wake up in pain at midnight. And doctors and nurses "need" to make sure parents actually give the medication? How would you suggest this be accomplished Dr. Kain?

Last year the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma attempted to market for "the undertreatment of pain in newborns and pediatric patients" as well as for something they called "pregnancy pain." I made a complaint to a government agency against Purdue Pharma and they were made to discontinue this frightening marketing tactic. I knew Purdue Pharma would find another means of marketing in their effort to addict even the most vulnerable of people -- children. How far behind is the undertreatment of pain in pregnant women? They didn't disappoint me -- they never do -- criminals minds making billions of dollars on the lives of children.

I have written many articles on the epidemic of death, addiction and abuse in the U.S. and Canada because of the marketing tactics used by the maker of OxyContin. Families are dealing with loved ones lives being ruined by prescription drugs freely prescribed by pill mill doctors and available on the streets. So why the push for pain management of children -- and I'm not writing of cancer pain -- I am writing of something as routine as a tonsillectomy.

This push for the undertreatment of pain in children -- where is it coming from? Purdue Pharma? No, they don't have to risk marketing for the undertreatment of pain in pediatric patients and having their wrists slapped, they have the following pain societies they fund to do their marketing for them:

  • American Chronic Pain Association

  • American Pain Society

  • American Academy of Pain Management

  • American Pain Foundation

  • American Board of Pain Medicine

And what do all these pain societies have in common? J. David Haddox, DDS, MD employed by Purdue Pharma as Vice President of Health Policy. The same Haddox who years ago tried to convince the medical profession that patients were not experiencing true addiction due to opioids, but rather were experiencing something called "pseudo-addiction." It didn't fly then -- and it doesn't fly now. Haddox is a member of all of the above pain societies -- and in some cases serves in an advisory capacity.

If this country is experiencing an epidemic of prescription drug death, addiction and abuse -- we haven't seen anything yet. As long as pharmaceutical companies without a conscience such as Purdue Pharma continue to push the undertreatment of pain -- and now directed to children, we have a true Holocaust ahead of us.

In Haddox's "spare time" he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. A little known fact about Mark Twain -- he was an avid gardener -- and spent time at this hobby with his children and surrogate grandchildren. I wonder if Mr. Twain had any idea what snake could have been laying in wait under a rock in his garden -- years later.


Salem-News.com 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: mskolek@aol.com

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