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Tens of Thousands Deal with Death & Addiction as American Pain Foundation Pushes Opioid UseMarianne Skolek Salem-News.com
The major concerns we have at PROP about the Fishman book beyond opioid drug company influence, pertain to a number of major clinical issues" - Stephen Gelfand, MD,
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - From the script of Titanic -- "Father Byles near tears as he clings to the sinking ship with one hand -- while holding onto the hands of praying passengers with his other hand. "And God will wipe away the tears from their eyes, and there will no longer be death. There will be no more pain -- the former world has passed away."
Last week I wrote about a book written by Scott M. Fishman, MD entitled "Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physician's Guide." Link to article provided http://www.salem-news.com/
Up until December 2011, Dr. Fishman had been President of the American Pain Foundation (APF) which is financially nourished by the pharmaceutical industry -- in particular the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma.
The American Pain Foundation's website http://www.painfoundation.org/ provides information to patients offering the benefits of opioids. They even have a provision on the website to "Donate Today" although they are kept fat and well fed financially by big pharma.
Some of the information they provide to patients on their website is that the side effects of opioids are minor and most go away after a few days and patients shouldn't worry if they need more of a drug -- they are not developing an addiction. Another "informational" bit of writing posted and dating back to 2009 is a headline reading "For Many, Financial Problems Bring Physical Pain."
Creative marketing to push opioids? You bet it is.
A group I have written about called Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) http://www.supportprop.org/ has problems with Dr. Fishman's book as well as the American Pain Foundation. One of the members of PROP, Stephen Gelfand, MD recently wrote a letter to Scott Kirby, MD, Head of the North Carolina Medical Board. Dr. Fishman's book had been distributed by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) as promoted by Regina M. Benjamin, MD, the U.S. Surgeon General. Some of the highlights of Dr. Gelfand's comments about Dr. Fishman's "guidelines" in prescribing opioids are outlined below:
The major concerns we have at PROP about the Fishman book beyond opioid drug company influence, pertain to a number of major clinical issues. Some of these include:
Thank you again for your interest in PROP.
Stephen G. Gelfand, MD
Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing [PROP]
My question to members of Congress is -- How much longer are you going to sit back and allow physicians paid by pharmaceutical companies to write guidelines on prescribing dangerous opioids? How much longer do you sit back while the American Pain Foundation pushes opioids for "financial problems?" Should we wait until there is a push for opioids for politicians dealing with the stresses of Congress and the Senate? When will this deceitful and unscrupulous form of marketing dangerous drugs that are killing and addicting our families be stopped? When will it be time for Congress to investigate the FDA's blind eye to the prescription drug epidemic and remove Margaret Hamburg, MD as Commissioner of the agency for sheer incompetence?
In December 2011, the American Pain Foundation's chairman and president, Dr. Scott Fishman, resigned his position. In a statement to ProPublica, Fishman said his views have evolved and that he now believes opioids are both overused and addictive. But he defended the group in this statement:
"I have not always agreed with American Pain Foundation's positions and have had disagreements with some APF leaders and patient advocates about many issues in pain management, including the appropriate place of chronic opioid therapy," wrote Fishman, chief of pain medicine at University of California, Davis. "Nonetheless, I have always believed that patients in pain in the United States need strong patient advocacy, which APF has offered."
Your change of heart Dr. Fishman is of little consolation to the tens of thousands of families dealing with death and addiction because of the American Pain Foundation's push to use opioids. Your words now are an insult to anyone with any intelligence. The most brilliant marketing ploy in pushing dangerous drugs was taken on by the American Pain Foundation -- with you at the helm -- kind of like watching the Titanic go down with innocent lives aboard -- and saying "what iceberg?"
LP -- For 14 hours in a truck, for the quiet of "soon" -- for so much love, faith, laughter, encouragement and our treasured peace -- I thank God every day.
Investigative Reporter for Salem-News.com
Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company
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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