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'Viewing Pain as a Disease' - a Prescription for Disaster ?Marianne Skolek Salem-News.com
'A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.' - Mark Twain
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - Scott M. Fishman, MD author of "Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physician's Guide" is under U.S. Senate investigation as is his book. The book was sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and funded pain foundations who are also under Senate investigation for possible ties to the deep pockets of pharmaceutical companies in rewarding not only Fishman but other physicians and pain foundations in their push for opioid prescribing throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In 2005, Dr. Fishman gave an "expert interview" to a publication called "Medscape" entitled -- "The Current State of Pain Management: An Expert Interview with Scott M. Fishman, MD"
During the interview, Fishman as President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM also under Senate investigation) made some interesting comments about the "advancement of the specialty of pain medicine."
Dr. Fishman was quoted as saying "The barriers start with the under-recognition of the public health crisis of undertreated pain and suffering. We are going to need to revaluate the discipline of pain medicine. Doctors must look at pain not just as a symptom, but also as a disease in its own right." Looks as though AAPM was pushing for pain to be treated as a "disease" and not a symptom back in 2005. Reason #1 the Senate may be conducting an investigation. Maybe the Senate will make the connection that the push for the prescribing of painkillers has led to this prescription drug epidemic because of pharmaceutical companies using their pain foundations and their paid physician speakers as their public relations agencies.
When asked about the risk of addiction during the interview - and as deaths and addictions were escalating into the tens of thousands - Fishman made this profound statement "We know that the risks of addiction are there, but they are small and can be managed. The AAPM is going to be at the forefront, educating physicians about the difference between analgesia and the outcomes of addiction, which are really diametrically the opposite, because addiction manifests with dysfunction and good analgesia manifests with improved function." The risks of addiction are there, but are small and can be managed? Reason #2 the Senate may be conducting an investigation.
If this information was being fed to the medical profession back in 2005 and beyond does anyone wonder why we have lost hundreds of thousands of people to addiction and death in the last decade?
In Fishman's Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) disclosure, he stated that he had written a book -- the subject of the Senate investigation -- but received no royalties. Later the doctor admitted receiving funds from drug company grants.
He later acknowledged having a relationship with the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma where he was a paid consultant, paid speaker and recipient of research support. Reason #3 for a Senate investigation.
Fishman's "Responsible Opioid Prescribing" book written for the Federation of State Medical Boards - the Boards also under Senate investigation - was financed by drug companies.
Dr. Fishman is now changing his position on opioid prescribing. He now states that opioids are overused and the risks outweigh the benefits. "Opioids represent only a small part of the spectrum on options for mitigating pain, but they carry a disproportionate level of risk" he wrote to the publication ProPublica. Reason #4 for a Senate investigation.
My question to the U.S. Senate investigating the prescription drug epidemic is -- Over a decade ago, we were losing thousands of victims to addiction and death. Several years ago, the toll rose to tens of thousands of victims lost. We are now faced with hundreds of thousands of victims lost to addiction and death because physicians, pharmaceutical companies and their funded pain foundations had no conscience and pushed opioids for pain under the guise of pain being a disease and not a symptom. All the contrary - and scared retractions - do not make families whole again. This investigation by the Senate cannot drag on. Victims and their families need justice and accountability for hands in the deep pockets of the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA turning a blind side to this out of control train wreck.
I suggest that Dr. Fishman, Dr. Webster, Dr. Portenoy and Dr. Fine and others involved ask a dad by the name of Avi Israel from New York his feelings on the Senate investigation of the physicians, pharmaceutical companies and funded pain foundations. Mr. Israel has a website called "Save the Michaels of the World." Michael Israel, son of Avi Israel, died last year at the age of 20 because his physician bought what was being sold to the medical profession and prescribed Michael long-term opioid medications. Michael told his dad that he feared he was becoming addicted and when Michael's physician was challenged by a concerned dad, he was told "Your son needs these painkillers -- he won't become addicted." Michael committed suicide because at 20 years old he knew the horror of addiction and didn't want to live his life any longer.
You might want to take some time to watch this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwtSvHb_PRk&feature=share
So to those doctors and their pain foundations who convinced the medical profession that long-term opioid prescribing is less likely to be addictive -- good job. Your hard work paid off and billions of dollars were made by all involved in this tsunami of lost lives. Reason #5 that the Senate is investigating you. LP - Peaceful paddleboat rides and chocolate covered strawberries -- that's where the path has brought us this week. Can it get much better? Oh yes love, faith, peace, fun and laughter.
_______________________________________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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