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Big Pharma Hobbling Federal Efforts to Rein In Dangerous Opioids


Big Pharma Hobbling Federal Efforts to Rein In Dangerous Opioids

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Even as a new study suggests opioid painkillers may in fact make chronic pain worse, Big Pharma continues to work against efforts to stem the national opioid crisis, according to reporting at The Intercept on Tuesday.

The study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showed that addictive opioids like morphine appear to paradoxically cause an increase in chronic pain in lab rats.


Our 15 year occupation of Afghanistan has expanded opioid production there. Why would we want to push back on our one success story out of the middle east ?


This article is producing an awful lot of hysteria out of one rat study.

I'm walking the other side of the street on this issue. Been using Percocet for over a decade to help deal with chronic pain. Still on the same dosage I started with, and following two successful spinal surgeries I'm going to need it even less. But I'm probably going to need pain relief on occasion for the rest of my life -- just like I will need other medications to deal with other medical problems.

What does "reining in" opiods mean? Most likely it will mean that people will be denied pain relief and be left with even fewer options than the few we have now. This is no victory.

Addiction is a real problem, and one that is not being dealt with properly, but prohibition doesn't prevent it from happening.


great comment. I couldn't say it any better.


Great comment elliemae. People who do not suffer acute chronic pain are clueless when it comes to the great godsend opiods represent.


Opioids, by definition are synthetic, and therefore unlikely to have very much to do with Afghanistan one way or the other. For your edification, opiates are the compounds of botanical origin.


You are not alone.
We empathize.
Peace to you.


People most certainly empathize with your situation and those of many others who are living with pain and any methods for pain management they can receive. You concern is understandable, the fear of being left high and dry with no facility to turn to for help.

But the article didn't infer about any effort to create a prohibition on methods of pain relief. No restrictions on how healthcare providers can address relieving pain was stated in the article. It's healthcare providers that administer your medical and healthcare needs and not the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, it's the legal obligation of officers of those pharmaceutical companies to maximize their profits. To maximize their profits and not to maximize your health. This is true in virtually all walks of American society, and we suffer the consequences that flow from that.

You are entitled to protection, but as we know, many of our legislators, those elected officials, can be 'per$uaded'. It's those per$uaded legislators and big pharma, along with the PR firms they hire, that will manufacture the scare tactics aimed at people who are going through enough trouble and stress with their health situations as it is. There are the real honest and responsible people and then there are the exploiters. And that's virtually a capsulized account on why Bernie Sanders is running for president. Honesty, decency, accountability and responsibility in government and society and not exploitation.


You do not understand, though not necessarily mentioned in this particular article, there have been plenty of other articles published that do validate elliemae's concerns. The script doctors write for this class of drugs is highly regulated and subject to restrictions. The Fed wants to expand those restrictions. I am reasonably certain ellimae's doctor may have shared his concerns and frustration with his patient over the possibility of not being allowed to provide her continued needed relief---my personal doctor has done so with me.

If one wants to assign conspiratorial designs to BigPharma, then consider this; their motivation may be to have these relatively inexpensive* analgesics removed or so tightly constrained as to have the same effect, only to have them replaced by products with newer 'legal' formulations and a substantially higher price tag. *inexpensive is a relative term, and make no mistake the costs at present are hardly affordable---we speak from experience.
As stated before, prohibition is not a solution.


My sister had colon cancer. She had chronic pain afterward. She was being seen by the VA. She went to Bethesda, the Mayo Clinic, Duke for additional input. She was put on Methadone. She had to be labeled as a Drug Addict to be prescribed it. She was on Methadone for about 10 years. She died in a VA hospital, after 2 months of being drugged up. She had signed a Living Will. After she died she was found to have died from causes related to her pancreas. She shared pot with me, against her husbands wishes, and she went from a pain filled ball, to sitting up, laughing and joking. It was dramatic. The VA did monthly drug tests and said that she would be cut off from Methadone if she ever smoked pot. If she had smoked pot she would be alive.


I worked with addicts for over 30 years so just FYI. When you go off percocet, you will need to be withdrawn gradually because you are addicted.

I strongly doubt that you have been on percocet for over 10 years, at the same dose, and are getting the same results that you got when you first started taking it. The body gets used to a drug and needs more and more to get the same level of pain relief. Either this comment is a Troll or you are altering your history.


Medicine since the FDA was changed into a pay to play organization by 'you guessed it " Bill Clinton has made prescription opiates a leading killer of young adults.
Here some facts from the NYT www.nytimes.com/2007/05/11/.../11drug.html
"ABINGDON, Va., May 10 — The company that makes the painkiller OxyContin and three of its current and former executives pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court here to criminal charges that it had misled doctors and patients when it claimed the drug was less likely to be abused than traditional narcotics.

The company, Purdue Pharma, agreed to pay $600 million in fines and other payments to resolve the criminal charge of “misbranding” the product, one of the largest amounts ever paid by a drug company in such a case..." '.....The guilty plea — by Purdue Frederick, an affiliate of Purdue Pharma — is the latest of a number of cases brought by the Justice Department against" more about the influence of the donor class and you health "...http://ahrp.org/former-fda-commissioner-charged-in-federal-racketeering-lawsuit/


I was expecting a personal attack to pop up and sadly, I was not disappointed. I'm not a "troll", nor a liar. I am indeed still being prescribed "5 ml Oxycodone HCl/Acetominophen 1 -2 tablets every 6-8 hours as needed" (transcribed that straight off the prescription bottle) but if you choose to disbelieve me that's your problem. Have you ever considered that the reason you are convinced that every long term user of painkillers is an addict is _because _ you have worked with addicts for over 30 years? People like me would not be using your services, but that doesn't mean we don't exist.


Here an interesting link to a suit that involves politicians and you health https://www.scribd.com/doc/309957583/Amended-Levaquin-complaint Sad really


My last prescription was $19.29 (Canadian) for 50 tablets, including the dispensing fee. Should last me 4-6 months. It's pricey if you are poor, but as a generic drug it is way cheaper than some of the other things I've been prescribed at other times. Lately it's become trendy to prescribe antidepressants such as Cymbalta [ duloxetine], and anti-seizure medications, like Lyrica [ pregabalin] or Neurontin [ gabapentin] for pain patients. Haven't used them myself but if they are still on patent they must be pretty expensive.


"What does "reining in" opiods mean? Most likely it will mean that people will be denied pain relief and be left with even fewer options than the few we have now. This is no victory. " actually from the CDC " Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999,1 and so have sales of these prescription drugs.2 From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.1" most did not have chronic pain unless they where withdrawing. Many where given these drugs for minor pain....egged on by company sales forces...for such diverse and minor back pain ect... heres the new CDC guidelines "Use nonpharmacologic therapies (such as exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy) and nonopioid pharmacologic therapies (such as anti-inflammatories) for chronic pain. Don’t use opioids routinely for chronic pain. When opioids are used, combine them with nonpharmacologic or nonopioid pharmacologic therapy, as appropriate, to provide greater benefits."


Consider also that many heroin overdose victims started using heroin after becoming addicted to prescription opioids until they found themselves (due to cost escalation and/ or reduced insurance coverage) paying more for the prescriptions than they would pay for pure illegal heroin.

Do the CDC overdose statistics link heroin deaths to the prescription epidemic ?

Local high school kids tell the cops that its easier for them to buy pure heroin than beer.


These recommendations sound good -- on the surface. I was never advocating for opiates alone as the sole technique of handling chronic pain. Pain patients need as many tools for handling pain as possible, and I encourage doctors and patients to broaden their horizons. However, if you live in a rural area, as I do, neither cognitive behavioral therapists nor exercise facilities are easily available, and if they were, I couldn't afford them. So take those out of the mix, and what am I left with? Taking away opioids, and replacing them with other pills -- likely on-patent meds that I would find equally unaffordable. I'd still have pain but would end up with fewer tools to cope with it. You've just proved my point.


She never said how many she takes on a daily basis. Most people with chronic pain have "good days" and "bad days". I live with chronic pain, but on "good days", I don't take any pain meds. On bad days, I may take one pill. Sometimes I will have several days, or even a week, without unbearable pain, and take no pain meds whatsoever. Then, at other times, I may need a pill for several days. I suspect that you may be knowledgeable in treating addicts, but you appear to be lacking knowledge in treating chronic pain. As an RN, with experience in Hospice nursing, physical addiction usually doesn't occur unless, and until, meds are taken around the clock, over a period of several days/weeks; at that point, it does, indeed, become a physical addiction, requiring increasing dosages, and causing withdrawal if abruptly stopped.


Well put, jackolette. That's exactly how I do it -- "as needed".