This is a guest editorial post written by our newest contributor, Larry Golbom R.Ph MBA of the Prescription Addiction Radio show. We encourage comments from all viewpoints in this discussion.
How The FDA Has Failed the US Since the Introduction of Oxycontin
Compassion is a marvelous human trait. We read of disasters and human tragedy on a regular basis followed up by the outpouring of sympathy, money, fund raisers and, if necessary, food, medical aid and supplies. A day doesn’t go by that we read or hear of a story that affects our emotions. For many of us, “if we were rich, we would never have any money”, because of the human conditions we wish we could be a part of resolving.
The drug companies have become ingenious at tapping into our emotional traits. As a result, modern medicine has too many times become modern marketing that exploits our basic fabric of caring. Since I started the radio show, I am repeatedly accused of “not understanding pain”. The criticism of the radio show not caring about people in pain is a repeated mantra by individuals who are associated with the pain management industry. Additionally, most published articles written around the country negatively reflecting the opioid drugs will bring personal criticism implying that a critic of the over production and over marketing of the powerful and deadly narcotics is lacking in concern for our fellow human being.
The pain management industry and drug companies, for a number of years, have not overtly supported a drug data base so desperately needed in our state of Florida, but we are to believe that they care about the reportedly 40 to 90 million people in pain ( a moving number depending on who is being quoted). In Florida, Medical Examiners in 2007 reported thousands who died with a narcotic prescription drug in their body. The silence on the deaths is deafening from the critics who accuse others of a lack of compassion concerning the use of the drugs.
The truth of the numbers of people in pain, at best, are suspect. In summary, the best way to avoid pain is to not turn over 50 years old. The number of people in true need of the deadly, addictive and dangerous opioids like oxycontin is highly exaggerated by the pain management mavens and their minion who don’t want to admit that they would go through severe withdrawal if they would go more than 24 to 36 hours without the drugs they support. The original source of the pain is seldom treated and the painful and severe withdrawal is delayed. Family members watch helplessly as their loved ones continue to live in denial and slowly deteriorate before their eyes. Honesty in the discussion of the opioid drugs and the destruction they are creating is never done in an open forum. The pain management industry would be hard pressed to defend the marketing and use of the drugs past the terminally ill, acute situations and specific medical conditions that research has proven that there is no other alternative. The “black and white medical situations” for the proper use of the opioids is clear and the number of “gray area medical situations” is limited.
In my opinion, the legal profession has made some grave errors in presenting the damage and destruction the opioids have created. The argument always pertains to “pain” and not to the inherent dangers and historical data pertaining to the products being derived from the opium plant. The legal profession continues to walk into a dark hole they cannot get out of when they immediately capitulate to the term the drug companies created, “Painkillers”. Before the drug companies began to market and sell “the painkillers”, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and methadone were dangerous narcotics.
Opioid drugs are dangerous and deadly. That is where the conversation must start. There is no question that the opioids are necessary in specific medical conditions, however, the mismanagement, over production, over marketing and misuse of the drugs by the medical professionals should be where the discussion begins. “Painkiller” is a marketing term and does not convey the true nature of the dangers of the category of the drugs. The FDA, in a court, would be helpless in defending their silence on the dangers of the opioids. The number of deaths from methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, etc. continue to mount by the FDA’s own record keeping and their silence, since 1996, will be remembered by historians as one of the biggest debacles in the over 100 year FDA history.
My apologies to those who believe I am not a compassionate individual, but not to those who refuse to have an honest discussion about the increasing opium epidemic our country is experiencing led by the direction of the legal drug manufacturers and with the blessing of a government agency who has apparently lost control to the pharmaceutical industry and their
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