Tag Archives: media

CVS’s Transparent Opioid PR Stunt

CVS’s Transparent Opioid PR Stunt | American Council on Science and Health – by Josh Bloom – Sept 2017

CVS has taken it upon itself to enact rules that allow their pharmacists to ignore a physician’s prescription by changing the number of pills, the daily maximum dose, and even the form of the drug itself.

And the company’s new policy is based on a decidedly faulty premise, which I will describe below.

What the company just did is bad news for both physicians and their patients. Let’s try to set them straight.   Continue reading


An Inconvenient Footnote in the Opioid Crisis

An Inconvenient Footnote in the Opioid Crisis — Pain News Network –  August 17, 2017 By Roger Chriss, Columnist

The evidence clearly shows that the opioid crisis is being driven primarily by illegal drugs.Time magazine reports that in a large national survey, 60% of those who reported misusing opioid medication did so without a prescription.

“About 40% of these people accessed opioids free from friends or relatives. Among people who developed addiction or other abuse disorders, 14% said they bought them from drug dealers or strangers,” Time said.

Moreover, people who are addicted to heroin rarely get their start with opioids prescribed for a valid medical condition.  Continue reading

Flawed Perceptions Make Our Drug Crisis Worse

New Survey Finds That Flawed Perceptions Are Making Our Drug Crisis Worse 2/1/2017

Fully 61 percent of voters believe that their state and local governments are not doing enough in response to drug abuse and addiction. Yet, there are fiscal constraints on any alternative strategies to end the drug crisis, with 51 percent believing state and local governments are in fact spending effectively, making it difficult to propose any new initiatives to tackle the drug crisis.

In many cases, drug abuse services involve all branches of government today, yet these programs suffer from a lack of a coherent strategy and may be perceived to be ineffective as a result.

They are not only perceived to be ineffective, they ARE ineffective.

The government has been caught lying repeatedly to bolster the expensive and failing/failed drug war, so has sacrificed the moral high ground for drug raids and incarceration.   Continue reading

Media Reports About Opioids Have Wrong Focus

Media Reports About Opioids Have the Wrong Focus – The Painful Truth – December 22, 2016 by Dr. Lynn Webster

The headline reads, “As prescription opioid addiction rises, help from doctors lags.” That belies the following statement by Washington Post reporters Scott Clement and Lenny Bernstein:

Despite the high rate of dependence, the poll finds that a majority of long-term opioid users say the drugs have dramatically improved their lives.

Opioids relieve pain that is otherwise intractable, they said in follow-up interviews, allowing them to walk, work and pursue other activities. Fully two-thirds of users surveyed said relief is well worth the risk of addiction.”   Continue reading

Hospitals’ dangerous embrace of alt-medicine

Anti-vaccine rant exposes conflict over hospitals’ embrace of alternative medicine


In the span of a few days, the anti-vaccine screed of a Cleveland Clinic doctor prompted a social media firestorm, an apparent retraction from the physician, and promises of disciplinary action by administrators of his prestigious hospital system.

But those reactions will not entirely contain the damage caused by the rant, which has already been picked up by anti-vaccine organizations1, or address a more fundamental question:

Why do hospitals that espouse evidence-based medical care operate alternative medicine institutes that offer treatments with little foundation in science?

This is exactly what has happened to pain care when the CDC promoted “integrated care”, which is actually a collection of unproven alternative medicine treatments, in its 2016 Opioid Prescribing Guideline.  Continue reading

Being “in the Now” When “Now” Hurts

Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment – The New York Times – By Ruth Whippman – Nov. 26, 2016

The simplification and mass-production of a philosophy make it ridiculous.

I’m making a failed attempt at “mindful dishwashing,” the subject of a how-to article an acquaintance recently shared on Facebook.

According to the practice’s thought leaders, in order to maximize our happiness, we should refuse to succumb to domestic autopilot and instead be fully “in” the present moment, engaging completely with every clump of oatmeal and decomposing particle of scrambled egg.

Mindfulness is supposed to be a defense against the pressures of modern life, but it’s starting to feel suspiciously like it’s actually adding to them.   Continue reading

Media Escalates Opioid Abuse and Death Narrative

Kaiser and Media Escalate Opioid Abuse and Death Narrative National Pain Report 11/28/16

Publishing information that is intentionally worded to advance alarmist propaganda is the opposite of what a health organization should be doing.

Kaiser has become a source of Fake News:

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll has generated significant media attention, further inflating the narrative about opioid abuse and death.  If all you see are the numbers that hit the press, you’d be misinformed.   Continue reading

Is Pain Medication the Gateway to Heroin?

Is Pain Medication the Gateway to Heroin? – By Zachary Siegel 04/10/16

With detail, clarity, and rigorous sourcing, Mr. Siegel has written a thorough debunking of the myth that opioids prescribed for pain lead to heroin use and overdose. He shows how destructive this myth is and how contradictory data has been overlooked by policy makers.

To say, as the CDC did, that both pain patients and doctors are the culprits in rising mortality is misguided for several reasons.

As the death toll from opioids and heroin rises, people are looking for answers, and also, someone to blame.

This may be another aspect of current anti-opioid policy development: all parties want to make sure the blame for so many overdoses does not fall on them.   Continue reading

How the media distorts the opioid issue

Here’s an excellent article demonstrating how the media distorts the opioid issue.

Et tu, John Oliver? – All Things Chronic

… When leaders set out to create a more uniform approach to emergency pain treatment, the original goal was to run an “opioid-free ED.” However, Rosenberg says they soon realized that this was unrealistic and, instead, have fostered a culture in which physicians have a broader range of resources. Opioids are now the last line of defense.

Worth reading at https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/et-tu-john-oliver/

How Media Fuels the Opioid Crisis

How Media Fuels the Opioid Crisis – 9/30/16 by Dr. Lynn Webster MD –  http://thepainfultruthbook.com

Inaccurate Media Reporting

The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham’s September 20, 2016 blog entry, “Prescription painkillers are more widely used than tobacco, new federal study finds,” cites inaccurate data.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription opioid-related deaths were about 14,000, not 19,000, in 2014, as Ingraham reports.

These are still all opioid-related deaths, meaning an opioid was involved at some point, but may not be the cause of death.  When a person is in hospice care, they are usually given opioids, so when they die it could be recorded as an opioid-related death.   Continue reading