Senators Trying To Practice Medicine Without A License

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Here is part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) mission statement from their website:

FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

Who makes up the FDA? Scientists, doctors and experts in related fields.

Who does NOT make up the FDA? Corporate sponsors, Big Pharma, groups or organizations which benefit from rulings AND elected officials.

The last one is why this post exists. It seems there are some in Congress who feel they, despite lack of any scientific facts, research or background education and training in medicine, know more about pharmacology than the experts do. Being elected for office requires no educational background and we've certainly seen way too much proof of that. So why should they be telling the FDA what's safe and what isn't? When they're sworn in, do they get a diploma from Dufus U. School of Medicine?

Dunderheads like Todd Akin, Steve King and others just don't get it. Now we can add a few more names to this list of non-doctors telling licensed medical practitioners what medications they can and cannot be prescribing.

This, from The Hill:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) plans to introduce legislation in the coming days that would push back against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving a controversial prescription drug, his office confirmed Wednesday.

Manchin is working with several other senators on a bill that would target the FDA's approval process, after the agency gave the green light in October to Zohydro, which critics say is a highly-addictive and easily-abused painkiller.

Those several other senators include the Madam's boy,  David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and the ever increasingly neurotic Charles Schumer (D-New York). Each of them sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this month, demanding she step in and force the FDA to reverse its decision. She has jurisdiction over the agency.

What is this horrible drug that needs to be halted before it can be sold?  Zohydro. It's the first FDA-approved drug that uses pure hydrocodone to treat chronic pain. In lay terms, is amped up Vicodin. One tab of Zohydro would take the place of six to ten Vicodin. So, instead of two pills every two to four hours, you'd take one pill once or twice a day. It's cheaper, its more effective and would aid people in chronic pain. It's been tested, researched and successfully made it through the numerous, stringent studies involved with any new medication.

How is that so awful? According the the Manchin gang, it could lead to abuse and overdosing. Well, Senators, so can Vicodin and other pain meds. According to GEN (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), the most abused medication today is Oxycontin. Hydrocodone is only number 17. So maybe you should be looking into the 16 medications that are abused in greater numbers than Vicodin. They include Xanax, Ativan and Valium.

Oh, that's right, those are the pills you might already be using to deal with the anxiety and pressures of your new responsibilities as resident doctors in the Senate chambers.

Let's not always look at the worst case scenario. There will always be people who abuse medications. Let's not punish those who are really in need because of a small percentage of abusers. It's doctors who should be the ones either prescribing a drug or withholding it from a patient. But the choice should be left to experts, not politicians. They have trouble walking and chewing gum. Maybe they should stick to improving those skills. Then they can work their way up to walking and talking while making sense.

That's wishful thinking, I know. Maybe there's a pill for that.

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  • http://billsandiego.blogspot.com Bill H

    The FDA authorizes drugs based on results of effects, good and bad, reported from drug tests performed on those drugs. Addiction rates is not one of the results reported because it is a long term effects and, more to the point, is not strictly speaking an effect of the drug but is an effect of improper use of the drug.

    The Senators are concerned about social impact, and want to remove a social ill by removing the tool used for that social ill. They are no more misguided than are people who want to eliminate mass killers by removing guns from people with a history of minor mental health issues who are not mass killers.

    Saying that we should solve drug addiction by making it impossible for drug addicts to get drugs, rather than by treating drug addiction, is not a whole lot different than saying that we should solve the mental health problems that cause anger and despair which leading to mass killing,by making it impossible for the people affected to get guns instead of providing better mental health care. Both are incorrect in their assumption.

    So, do you use the same logic about guns? Does"There will always be some people who misuse guns, and because of a tiny minority we should not restrict availability to the vast majority who will use them safely and properly" apply?

  • David G

    Sadly, there's abuse of everything and it's everywhere. On campus, one of the biggest problems is alcohol. It's a far greater concern than prescription drugs. The issue may be supervision of doctors and how often they prescribe certain drugs -- but even then it's a slippery slope. I think first concern is for the patient. Then with the abuser, and not the other way around.

  • http://leftcoastoracle.blogspot.com LeftCoastOracle

    I have concerns about college students gaining access to this powerful drug and ODing on it. There is a BIG market for such drugs on campuses and nobody doing anything to combat it.