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Sunday, February 24, 2013

The F.D.A. Does Not Require Your Doc to Train Before Prescribing Narcotic Painkillers

 
 
 
"The Food and Drug Administration,
overriding the advice of an expert panel,
said that it would not require doctors
to have special training before they could prescribe
long-acting narcotic painkillers that can lead to addiction.

"But the agency said companies that make the drugs,
like OxyContin, fentanyl and methadone,
would be required to underwrite the cost
of voluntary programs aimed at teaching
doctors how to best use them."
 
(Barry Meier, "F.D.A. Won’t Order Doctors to Get Pain-Drug Training,"
 The New York Times, July 9 2012)
 
The F.D.A. announcement came after several years of deliberations by the agency into the growing problem of prescription painkiller abuse and misuse. In 2010, a panel of outside experts assembled by the F.D.A. overwhelmingly rejected the agency’s proposal that physician training be voluntary.
 
In addition, major doctors groups like the American Medical Association have fought the idea of mandatory training, saying that the programs would be burdensome and could reduce the number of physicians who treat pain patients.      
 
The panel of experts including Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the F.D.A. commissioner, and R. Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s top drug policy adviser, said that mandatory training was essential both to reduce the abuse of strong painkillers, or opioids, and to make sure that pain patients were treated appropriately with them.
      
But the Obama administration has yet to draft legislation, despite voicing support for more than a year.
             
Dr. Scott M. Fishman, a pain specialist, said he believed that the public health issues surrounding opioid use had reached a point at which doctor training was essential.
      
“The problem of prescription drug abuse has become so severe, I believe that the time has come to make that training mandatory,” said Dr. Fishman, a professor at the University of California, Davis.
Under the F.D.A. plan announced Monday, drug makers will underwrite the development of physician education programs, but the companies will not control their content, F.D.A. officials said.
 
Instead, groups that specialize in training programs for doctors will create the courses, which are expected to last two to three hours, the agency said.
 
The plan also calls for patients to receive one-page handouts about the benefits and risks of opioid use.
      
The Fox Feeds In the Henhouse

So, the answer to helping the health epidemic is forming voluntary programs underwritten by Big Pharma. Is anyone awake? Do the American people accept these fraudulent, industry-driven procedures as research-based education?

What do you think are the chances of pharma generating unbiased content revealing the true dangers associated with their products that could cause a serious decline in their distribution? What I mean to ask is this: "Would you expect these training programs to reveal the TRUTH"?

God damn the F.D.A., the unscrupulous pharmaceutical industry, and the tons of lobbyists who perpetuate this ugly, greedy alliance. And, if you are a doctor who opposes MANDATORY training concerning prescription pain relievers, you can go to hell, too. None of you are showing the necessary concern for the health of a very sick Prescription Nation.
It's time to tell it like it is and take on the all-powerful Food and Drug Administration. I believe my use of name calling and emotive language is necessary because it seems that research and professional support is not working well enough to make the public react to the crime.
 
So, let me slap you across the head with the stinging reality of the situation:

* You blindly expect and trust pharmaceutical companies in a highly competitive industry bent on making whopping profits to painstakingly research and carefully develop marvelous, new, safe drugs to relieve your every pain.

* Then, you blindly trust the F.D.A., the commissioner of which is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of manipulating politicians in the U.S. Senate, who are hounded by pharmaceutical lobbyists, with protecting and promoting your health through their approval, regulation and supervision of pain medicines

And, you blindly trust the F.D.A.'s questionable alliance with Big Pharma, including advertising, promoting and conducting safety surveillance of these substances.

* After that, you blindly trust that your sacred, sworn, moral doctor will prescribe you "wonder" pills promoted by an extremely attractive pharmaceutical company representative who is actually a well-trained salesperson sent into the doctor's office to promote only the benefits of the pain reliever and to insure the M.D. that the medicine has been approved for safe use both by the pharmaceutical company and F.D.A.

* Finally, you take your doctor's pain prescription to your pharmacist to be filled. (Remember, the doctor has not even been required to attend training on its use.) Thank God, many times a good, well-trained pharmacist finds a risky mix of medications will occur if you combine this new prescription with your other required meds.

But, what if your pharmacist fails to catch an error in prescription or what if your pharmacist fears reprimand for not "following the doctor's orders'? Or, unbelievably, what if your pharmacist just doesn't care what the doctor prescribes?

(Click to enlarge.)

My friend, you have just taken a big bite of the Defecation Deluxe Special, kindly served up to you at premium cost by the American Medical Profession courtesy of the F.D.A. And, the sad thing about your experience is that you will likely continue to swallow, believing that medicine is some untouchable, completely reputable industry.
Based on a recent report on medical mistakes from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, "To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System," the IOM estimates that 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year not from the medical conditions they checked in with, but from preventable medical errors.

A medical error, under the report's definition, could mean a health-care provider chose an inappropriate method of care, such as giving a patient a certain asthma drug without knowing that he or she was allergic to it. Or it could mean the health provider chose the right course of care but carried it out incorrectly, giving the patient a concentrated, lethal overdose.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that fully half of adverse reactions to medicines are the result of medical errors. Other adverse reactions--those that are unexpected and not preventable--are not considered errors.

Hey, Doc, all we expect is a few hours of your precious time. Evidently, this is asking just too much.

So, if you want, you can continue to be led blindly by a corrupt system and allow "medical professionals" to relieve your pain. And, believe me, there are pills to relieve your non-terminal suffering. But, in the case of the most dangerous opioids, you will become dependent, and you will likely become addicted. You will also certainly discover a new, excruciating pain if you enter withdrawal.  
Do me one favor: the next time you think about your health and medical concern about your safety, remember this New York Times article. Rejecting mandatory courses of two to three hours that may potentially save untold lives is unconscionable.

 Here is my curse upon those in the F.D.A. conspiracy:

"May everyone involved in the wicked, money-loving collaboration of the Federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and pharmaceutical companies be consumed in their addition to greed. Once dead, let them be doomed to perpetual study of their instruments of destruction and then may they be forced to consume their own products until they suffer eternal addiction."

And, the last word for the public... help bring this medical conspiracy to an end immediately. Support those who are fighting for MANDATORY training for prescribing prescription painkillers.

"The thing that bugs me is that the people
think the FDA is protecting them.
It isn’t.
What the FDA is doing and
what the public thinks it’s doing
are as different as night and day."
 
-Dr. Herbert Ley, former Commissioner of the FDA.
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