Tuesday May 21, 2013
Can Big Pharma's Denial of Drug Addiction Weather a Senate Investigation?Marianne Skolek Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter
The prescription drug epidemic appears to have financial ties to the makers of the same drugs ravaging the U.S. and Canada.
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” Adolf Hitler
Open Letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (Montana) and Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
RE: Lynn R Webster, MD under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee
Dear Senate Finance Committee Members:
For the past few weeks, I have been writing a series for Salem-News.com on your investigation into pharmaceutical companies, their financially funded pain societies and several physicians -- all who may be profiting lucratively into the billion dollar prescription drug epidemic affecting families in every state in the country. One physician under investigation is Lynn R. Webster, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) also under Senate investigation and past president of the American Pain Foundation (APF) also under Senate investigation. APF coincidentally "closed its doors" when the Senate investigation was announced.
You may be interested in investing a few bucks in a "Guide for Practitioners - Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain" written by Dr. Webster and Beth Dove in 2007. Cutting to the chase, here is some information offered by the good doctor that I found of particular interest in light of the prescription drug epidemic and his financial ties to the makers of the same drugs ravaging the U.S. and Canada -- as well as the pain societies pushing these drugs under the guise of "the undertreatment of pain."
Here are some statements from the book by Dr. Webster -- you be the judge as to why we have prescription drugs being over-prescribed and addicting and killing -- many of those victims our young people:
"Opioids offer safe, effective treatment for many chronic pain conditions and pose little risk of addiction for most patients who take them to control pain. However, some patients treated with opioids do display behaviors consistent with addiction."
In view of the loss of life and the drug rehabilitation facilities throughout the country having long waiting lists for treatment of individuals addicted to opioids for Webster to write the words "little risk of addiction" as relates to opioids offering safe, effective treatment of chronic pain conditions should raise the eyebrows of the Senate Finance Committee members.
"Like food, opioid analgesics are only as beneficial or as destructive as the motivations and compulsions of the user."
Like food Dr. Webster? There are towns in the state of Ohio that are dealing with massive addiction and deaths of their young people every day and it's not to food. Want me to address the other 49 states and the booming "pill mill" business in Florida? I haven't read in newspapers that cover this epidemic every day throughout the country that our kids are dying because of eating fast food. It's prescription drugs that are pushed by the same pain foundations set up by the pharmaceutical industry -- and the ones you serve in a leadership capacity.
"Substance abuse is a leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. The misuse of drugs ruins families, costs billions in lost productivity, strains the healthcare systems, and ends lives."
Substance abuse is a cause of death throughout the country, but many of these individuals were prescribed opioids and when physicians realized they were addicting their patients because dangerous drugs such as OxyContin were marketed as less likely to be addictive or abused -- physicians knew they were lied to and ceased prescribing opioids. Patients who became addicted because of the criminal marketing of the opioids went on the streets to "feed" their habit.
"Certain drugs attain notoriety in the press, sometimes because of the involvement of law enforcement agencies. Controlled release oxycodone is one such opioid that has become a media sensation"
"Notoriety and a media sensation" Dr Webster? Death and addiction of our young people does not sell news -- it makes profits in the billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical companies pushing drugs such as OxyContin -- and the paid consultants such as yourself who write about the "undertreatment of pain" in the country. The end result is profits in the billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical companies such as the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma as they mass produce their lethal drug.
"Some attorneys have even begun trying to profit from media attention by running advertisements to recruit people treated with a prescribed drug who might want to seek restitution for the perceived fostering of addiction."
This, Senators, is one of the most offensive statements in Webster's book - "restitution for the perceived fostering of addiction." Would one of the Senators care to ask Webster the value of the life of a loved one who was "perceived to be fostering addiction"?
"Cognitive tests performed in patients treated with opioids have shown that the agents produce little to no reduction in cognitive function. Any sedation or impairment that does occur tends to develop in patients whose opioid therapy has just begun. Over time, those adverse effects of opioid treatment nearly always resolve."
"Over time, those adverse effects of opioid treatment nearly always resolve." For lack of a better word, Dr. Webster this statement is just criminal. The medical profession knows that adverse effects of opioid treatment does not resolve over time -- you know it, I know it and the Senate investigating you knows it. Remember we are in a prescription drug epidemic -- would we be in one if "adverse effects of opioid treatment nearly always resolved"?
"In truth, the prevalence of drug abuse and addiction in patients treated with opioids for chronic pain has not been established because of the lack of prospective studies. About 1% of the general U.S. population demonstrates addiction to opioids. At least 1 study has shown that 2% to 5% of chronic pain patients manifest addiction (a rate more than twice that of the general population)."
About 1% of the general U.S. population demonstrates addiction to opioids? Please refer to the Hitler quote at the top of this article senators because this is beyond a lie and to be made by someone in the medical profession is a crime.
"However, the extent to which opioids prescribed for pain actively foster an addiction that did not already exist has sometimes been exaggerated, particularly in the popular imagination."
"Popular imagination" Dr. Webster? Tell that to the tens of thousands of families throughout the U.S. who have lost family members due to what you perceive to be an "exaggeration." I would use the words shame on you for writing such blatant lies, but will leave it to the Senate Finance Committee to give these families the justice they so deserve.
"Although abuse, addiction, and diversion are serious issues in a minority of patients who exhibit these problems, research clearly indicates that most patients treated with prescribed opioids for acute or chronic pain will not become addicted to their medications."
This quotation does not warrant a commentary from me -- but I would expect the Senate Finance Committee members will be as offended by these words as much as those affected by the prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. and Canada.
"The difference in meaning of terms that pertain to opioid use are important. A person who is physically dependent on a drug, for example, may experience symptoms of withdrawal if treatment with that drug is suddenly interrupted or terminated. Such symptoms do not in themselves indicate addiction. Similarly, a person who aggressively demands more medication may be suffering from undertreated pain and not from addiction."
"Undertreated pain and not addiction" -- it's beyond comprehension how this drug epidemic has been allowed to rage into a giant fire of death and addiction for this long in view of physicians such as Dr. Webster pushing and profiting from the use of opioids.
"Several surveys have shown that the fear of being scrutinized by a regulatory or law enforcement agency compels many physicians to prescribe fewer opioids. Many physicians are particularly reluctant to prescribe opioids for their pain patients who do not have cancer. This unwillingness (caused by regulatory concerns) to treat pain is known among prescribers of opioids as the "chilling effect."
No, Dr. Webster, the "chilling effect" is the evil of what Hitler did to millions of innocent people -- and now the "chilling effect" continues with what is contained in the book "Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain."
LP -- We have been there for each other on our journeys and are a team. You have given me love, encouragement, faith and the return of my cherished peace -- I give you the same and always will -- just don't cough.
Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma 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 - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded 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 8-1/2 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.
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