Tag Archives: drug-war

Opioids allocated based on business decision

‘Business decision’: Former DEA official works for opioid lawyers but set standards for how many pills were madeBy John O’Brien | Sep 3, 2019

The DEA knew more about what quantities of opioids went where than anyone else, so I’m baffled why they didn’t stop the excessive orders that everyone is complaining about now.

Asked what would’ve happened if a pharmaceutical distributor wanted advice on whether a large order of opioids was suspicious, the man in charge of federal regulation of those pills for 10 years said he wouldn’t have helped.

Instead, Joe Rannazzisi, who set always-increasing opioid quotas for theindustry while he headed a Drug Enforcement Agency department from 2005-15, said the company would be left on its own to figure it out.    Continue reading

Opinion | Fear, Loathing and Fentanyl Exposure

Opinion | Fear, Loathing and Fentanyl Exposure – https://www.nytimes.com/ By The Editorial BoardApril 4, 2019

The New York Times has published many articles about the “opioid crisis” that follow the usual unchecked assumptions around opioids, so I’m glad this opinion piece by the “top guns” of the Times finally explains the problems posed by fentanyl: it’s super potent, but not by accidental skin exposure or “breathing fumes”.

As baseless public health scares go, the one about police officers and nurses purportedly overdosing from passive fentanyl exposure should have been easy to dispel.

Emergency workers across the country have reported dozens of such incidents in recent years, but their symptoms are often inconsistent with opioid poisoning.    Continue reading

Ending DOJ’s Indiscriminate Raids

A More Sensible Surge: Ending DOJ’s Indiscriminate Raids of Healthcare Providers – by Michael C. Barnes DCBA Law & Policy, mbarnes@dcbalaw.com

This is a “Legislation & Policy Brief” I found that echoes what we’ve been trying to explain. This brief specifically mentions well-known doctors that have been prosecuted (and persecuted) by federal law enforcement for simply doing their jobs: treating their patients’ pain with opioids when nothing else gave relief.

Mr. Barnes understands and agrees with our position, urging that federal raids of doctors’ offices be halted.

He also points out that the overdose crisis is not about opioids specifically, that the deaths are from increasing numbers of people ingesting various combinations of illicit drugs.  Continue reading

Most heroin addicts didn’t start with Rx pain pills

The White House drug czar is wrong: Most heroin addicts didn’t start with prescribed pain pills – Written by  /  – July 2019

As part of its campaign to stem opioid addiction and overdoses, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP — the drug czar’s office) has launched an education campaign called The Truth About Opioids, but some of the material it is presenting has more than a whiff of spin to it — and could imperil the ability of pain patients to get the relief they need.

I’m furious that they call it “the Truth” when it only spreads the big lie about the overdose crisis being from prescribed pain medications.

The website declares in big, bold letters that “80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller, [NOT!] and highlights the words “80%,” “heroin,” “started,” and “prescription” in lurid purple.    Continue reading

NarxCare score does not predict adverse outcomes

NarxCare narcotics score does not predict adverse outcomesReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 2019

The increasingly used NarxCare narcotics score does not predict adverse outcomes or patient dissatisfaction after elective spine surgery,

An opioid use score based on state prescription databases does not predict complications or other adverse outcomes in patients undergoing spinal surgery, reports a study in the journal Spine.

They write, 

“the current study did not identify perioperative outcome/satisfaction differences based on preoperative narcotics use criteria.”     Continue reading

Real Overdose Data from NIDA

Here is a whole page of some excellent charts from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). – July 2019

NIDA has the most accurate, up to date, and pertinent information, since it’s the federal agency whose mission it is to deal with drug abuse, not the CDC or FDA.

Below is the chart showing that it’s illicit Fentanyl that’s increasingly involved. Note that in the numbers for prescriptions, the opioids are almost always not prescribed to the person overdosing.

Are WHO Pain Tx Guidelines just Purdue Marketing?

Lawmakers contend WHO pain treatment guidelines are really Purdue ‘marketing materials – By ED SILVERMAN @Pharmalot MAY 22, 2019 – (article athttps://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2019/05/22/purdue-opioids-world-health-guidelines/” accessible only through subscription to StatPlus)

Just the two first paragraphs of visible preview are astonishing and so infuriating that I’ll just leave you with these two:

Two  lawmakers are urging the World Health Organization to rescind guidelines issued nearly a decade ago for treating pain because they contain “dangerously misleading” and sometimes “outright false claims” about the safety and effectiveness that were orchestrated by Purdue Pharma.

In a new report, the lawmakers contend that the WHO guidelines, which were released in 2011 and 2012, are “serving as marketing materials for Purdue.” And they pointed to efforts by the company to create and fund front groups that participated in research that shaped WHO decision making – and dovetailed with corporate goals to boost use of opioids, such as its own OxyContin pill.

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients -by Elizabeth Brico– Feb 2019

First it was a hip replacement. Then it became complicated by a MRSA infection. Eventually, Dee Giles, formerly an ER nurse, had to endure amputation of her right leg and the right half of her pelvis.

Her arthritis and phantom limb pain were so severe that she required ongoing prescriptions for morphine and oxycodone—both classified by the DEA as Schedule II narcotics.

Receiving ongoing prescriptions for controlled substances is not easy.

You’d think that her horrible medical ordeals would grant her “permission to use opioids”, but the situation has gone far beyond reasonable and has become a caricature of a “drug war” running amok, terrorizing the innocent while ignoring the “enemy”.  Continue reading

Non-medical opioid users were not pain patients

Today’s nonmedical opioid users are not yesterday’s patients; implications of data indicating stable rates of nonmedical use and pain reliever use disorder – Journal of Pain Research – Jeffrey a  Singer, Jacob Z Sullum, Michael E Schatman – Feb 2019

This paper published in the Journal of Pain Research calculates the numbers and types of overdoses over the years and finally puts to rest the unsubstantiated story that pain patients are the ones overdosing and dying.

According to the narrative underlying current policies aimed at reducing opioid-related deaths, the problem can be traced to a dramatic increase in opioid prescribing that began in the late 1990s.

This trend supposedly was fueled by unscrupulous pharmaceutical company representatives who convinced practitioners that opioids posed a low risk of misuse and overdose (although a recent analysis suggests there were probably 30 or more root causes of the crisis).   Continue reading

Why California pharmacies are rejecting some opioid Rx

Why California pharmacies are rejecting some prescriptions for pain medications – BY CATHIE ANDERSON – Jan 17, 2019

Doctors around California are complaining that the state did not send them notice of a Jan. 1 change in prescription forms and that pharmacies are rejecting prescriptions for controlled substances on forms they used just last year.

Dr. Richard Buss, a family practice physician in Jackson, said this is the second year the state made changes to prescription requirements without notifying doctors directly.

He said he was unaware of the change until Jan. 2 when a pharmacy told him it wouldn’t fill a prescription. He was unable to get new prescription forms that meet state requirements until Monday.

Just another problem created by the cumbersome bureaucracy built up around opioids, creating mess after mess after mess… and never being held accountable for any damage.   Continue reading