J&J moves to strike Kolodny testimony

At opioid trial, Johnson & Johnson moves to strike Oklahoma witness as ‘de facto member of State’s legal team’By Dan Fisher – June 2019

I was thrilled when I saw this so I’m posting it quickly without much comment. I think we might finally be seeing the undoing of our prime tormentor, Andrew Kolodny.

Johnson & Johnson has asked the judge overseeing the first in an expected wave of trials against the opioid industry to strike the testimony of Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a psychiatrist who plays a central role in the State of Oklahoma’s case by linking narcotics marketing to opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

Calling Dr. Kolodny “a de facto member of the State’s legal team,” J&J said Oklahoma gave the Brandeis University researcher unfettered access to some 90 million internal documents obtained through discovery and used his expert testimony to

  • “pollute the trial record with rampant hearsay,
  • rank speculation, and
  • the State’s own take on the evidence.”

Continue reading

Aftermath of the CDC Guideline

Three Years Down the Road: The Aftermath of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic PainJoseph V. PergolizziJr., Melanie Rosenblatt, Jo Ann LeQuang – April 2019

In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta prepared a far-reaching guideline aimed at helping primary care physicians (PCP) better treat chronic pain.

However, rates of prescribing were starting to decrease markedly years before the CDC guideline was published.

Although the guideline was written for primary care physicians (PCPs) and framed in the context of PCPs managing patients with chronic noncancer pain, the gravitas of the document and its issuing agency gave considerable weight to its principles. Continue reading

Physicians Call on Politicians to End Interference

Frontline Physicians Call on Politicians to End Political Interference in the Delivery of Evidence Based Medicine – May 2019

This is a move in the right direction, but my feeling is that it’s too little and too late. If the practices they oppose are so important to them, why did these groups wait over three full years to speak up?

It looks like they were cowering in the shadows until other, much more courageous, doctors were already speaking up.

Our organizations are firmly opposed to efforts in state legislatures across the United States that

  • inappropriately interfere with the patient-physician relationship,
  • unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine and, in some cases,
  • even criminalize physicians who deliver safe, legal, and necessary medical care.

Continue reading

Opioid Addiction AND Pain Treatment

One of us was a pain patient saved by opioids, the other was addicted to them. We both deserve a solutionLos Angeles Times – By Ryan Hampton and Kate M. Nicholson – Apr 2019

This is an excellent article in a popular mainstream publication written by two people on the opposite ends of the “opioid crisis”. They point out that a common solution is needed, not one at the expense of the other, as has been done in the past.

Opioids have figured prominently in both our lives.

  • For Kate, they were a lifeline after a surgical mishap left her unable to sit, stand or walk for more than a decade.
  • For Ryan, they were a gateway to a dark decade of heroin addiction.

many Americans believe that we have over-treated pain at the expense of those who became addicted to prescription opioids.   Continue reading

Intractable Pain versus Chronic Pain

What is Intractable Pain and How Does it Differ From Chronic PainBy Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH, John Liu, MD and Laura Hermann, RN, FNP – Aug 2017

Protocols for a lifetime of pain management for patients suffering constant, incurable, excruciating, unrelenting pain.

Since IP [Intractable Pain] patients always have an underlying, incurable disease or condition causing IP, their clinical management is complex and may require a specialized clinical setting.

Just as renal failure or insulin-dependent diabetes require lifetime care by a cadre of specialized medical personnel, IP likewise requires similar lifetime care due to its incurable nature.   Continue reading

List of Peer Reviewed Articles on Pain/Opioids

Peer-reviewed articles (2006-2019) on Pain/Opioids by Stefan Kertesz  (Twitter: @StefanKertesz)  June 2019

This is a collection of 26 scientifically correct (not anti-opioid) information that can be used as references to rebut the anti-opioid propaganda. Dr. Kertesz has been a powerful and respected advocate for us for many years and seems to be publishing voluminously.

Many of the articles below I’ve already posted, but here they are in a unified list of publications, most with links, which challenge the anti-opioid zealotry.   Continue reading

Happiness doesn’t follow success: it leads

Happiness doesn’t follow success: it’s the other way round – Lisa C Walsh, Julia K Boehm & Sonja Lyubomirsky | Aeon Ideas – 24 May, 2019

I am posting this because it refutes an argument I hear far too often: you have to work hard and completely devote yourself to a profession in order to be successful. I’ve never believed it, but I’ve certainly been pressured by it.

Here we see how inverting all those studies that show success leads to happiness can be just as scientifically valid because these studies only show correlation not causation, yet everyone even scientists who should know better jump to conclusions that fit what we initially believe before we even see the data.

Work hard, become successful, then you’ll be happy. At least, that’s what many of us were taught by our parents, teachers and peers.   Continue reading

WA State condemns inappropriate treatment of pain

Finally, some good news: the State of Washington has issued an “Interpretive Statement” to officially condemn doctors unwilling to effectively treat pain, even when that includes opioid therapy, and to clarify that:

appropriate pain management is the responsibility of the treating practitioner and the inappropriate treatment of pain, including lack of treatment, is a departure from the standard of care.”

This is a complete turn-around from the stringent restrictions this state was one of the first to enact. Jane Ballantyne, MD, and Roger Chou, MD, two of the “experts” who worked on the CDC guideline, are both from the University of Washington, so I’m astonished that the same state is now backing off from their extreme anti-opioid views.

Will wonders never cease… Continue reading

Warrantless searches of medical records

United States Department of Justice v. Michelle Ricco Jonas | ACLU of New Hampshire – May 2019

I’m glad to see someone is standing up for patients against having their medical data available for warrantless DEA searches.

On May 29, 2019, the ACLU of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Medical Society filed a federal court amicus brief to support the State’s defense of patients from warrantless searches of medical records.

Also filed by the national ACLU and four other ACLU affiliates, the brief is part of the federal case U.S. Department of Justice v. Jonas, and explains that not only are these types of unjustified searches unconstitutional, but that they can have adverse consequences and deter patients from receiving needed medical care.    Continue reading