Thursday June 4, 2020
SNc Channels:



May-13-2010 00:01printcomments

American Pain Society's 29th Annual Scientific Meeting

Strange -- 20 years later, we don't hear mention of pseudo-addiction, but we certainly hear mention of a dramatic rise in drug overdose deaths by 5-fold as a result of opioids -- and this comes from the FDA. Coincidence?

Pill head

(BALTIMORE, Md.) - The American Pain Society held its 29th Annual Scientific Meeting this past weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.

Marianne Skolek

Of particular interest to some pharmaceutical companies producing opioids in their promotion of the "epidemic of the undertreatment of pain" in this country is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's controversial REMS. This stands for "risk evaluation and mitigation strategies" which could be implemented this summer.

REMS is of concern to the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry because it is expected to have important implications to medical professionals prescribing opioids to patients -- and the pharmaceutical companies making them.

Bob Rappaport, MD, from the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research did not provide details at the Baltimore meeting, but did say that education will factor prominently in the implementation of REMS. Drug overdose death rates in the United States are at an all time high. "The numbers have increased approximately 5-fold since 1990, largely because of opioids," Dr. Rappaport said.

It's encouraging to know that a public outcry and push by the US Congress prompted these changes in the FDA initiative of REMS.

Dr. Rappaport, also a neurologist, acknowledges that untreated chronic pain is an enormous public health problem. "We are going to need to find a balance," he said, "between ensuring patients can achieve adequate pain control with access to opioid therapies while taking steps to protect against addiction and death," he said. "FDA is not going to be able to do this alone," Dr. Rappaport added.

What better person to take the podium after Dr. Rappaport than J. David Haddox, DDS, MD of Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin. Every state in the country is familiar with OxyContin in death, addiction and abuse. Of course, Purdue Pharma marketing OxyContin to physicians and patients as less likely to be addictive or abused -- could there be culpability here?

So Haddox takes the podium and is quoted as saying "REMS are not for sleeping anymore." "If you snooze, you lose." (REMS is also an abbreviation for rapid eye movement sleep state). If Haddox is trying his hand at humor, it further indicates his indifference to the opioid crisis we are dealing with in this country.

"Nonpatients don't want to be educated," he said. "How can we control these issues in a nonpatient who is consciously seeking this out?" I think the last thing this country needs to hear is Purdue Pharma say "how can we" -- do anything to help.

An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet in July and is accepting public input online at To submit comments, enter the code FDA-2009-N-0143-1061.

I will continue to push for Margaret Hamburg, MD and Bob Rappaport, MD to reclassify OxyContin for "severe" pain only and look forward to further discussions. What do we have to lose? Haven't we lost enough lives because of the dishonest marketing of the drug as well as patients with moderate pain being prescribed a highly addictive opioid -- many with tragic consequences.

Maybe the FDA has to be reminded of Dr. Haddox's coined word "pseudo-addiction" - A term introduced by him in 1989. Drug-seeking behavior in response to pain is known as "pseudo-addiction." The syndrome resolved itself when pain medication was increased. (Not to mention death and addiction with the increase).

Strange -- 20 years later, we don't hear mention of pseudo-addiction, but we certainly hear mention of a dramatic rise in drug overdose deaths by 5-fold as a result of opioids -- and this comes from the FDA. Coincidence?

=========================================== 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:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Marianne Skolek May 13, 2010 3:39 am (Pacific time)

Thanks it is a fair question. I am not against these drugs. I am against the drug companies and their pain societies that they finance marketing the words "the undertreatment of pain". I am against drug companies marketing for every thing they consider to be pain such as "pregnancy pain." I am against these pill mill doctors who run their medical practices as anything but responsible practicing physicans. I am against a company such as Purdue Pharma marketing a drug called OxyContin which has caused such devastation in this country in deaths and addictions -- yet even though they were criminally convicted of marketing OxyContin to physicians and patients as less likely to be addictive or abused, they feel an entitlement to be a spokesperson for pain patients. I have never said I am against pain meds for the legitimate pain patient prescribed by a physician. I am against pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue Pharma whose criminal activities continue to lead to their front door in Stamford, Connecticut.

Josh Akers May 13, 2010 1:39 am (Pacific time)

pain medicine addiction was a contributing factor in my grandmother's death as far as I know. Opioid 'medicine' continues to rip at my family.

Oregon Reader May 13, 2010 12:18 am (Pacific time)

Marianne, I understand that you are against these drugs, but I wonder how people who require pain medications should be treated...

Editor: Oregon Reader, that is a fair question, I think I will let Marianne answer if she chooses to, but we are not against this in a general sense, only the abuse of it.   There are plenty of people who visit doctors who go to great lengths to help avoid problems with addiction.  Then there is hospice and many other applications for good pain meds.  This is Tim King, again I only speak for myself, but this is not about being over the top, just rational and we want to connect the dots for people, and the little trail that always leads back to Purdue Pharma. 


[Return to Top]
©2020 All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

Articles for May 12, 2010 | Articles for May 13, 2010 | Articles for May 14, 2010
Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

Donate to and help us keep the news flowing! Thank you.


Your customers are looking: Advertise on!

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.