Big Pharma accused of fraudulently pushing painkillers to "a population of addicts"

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it's all about the money Big Pharma

Big Pharma is pushing deadly drugs and addicting my home state of California. Allegedly. Painkillers like OxyContin are involved in more than 16,000 deaths every year. Traffic accidents are now taking a back seat to meds when it comes to causes of deaths.  Per an article in the Los Angeles Times, two counties are now suing drugmakers for violating California laws against false advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.

Big Pharma encourages patients, including veterans and the elderly, to request painkillers when they have everyday headaches, arthritis and back pain. Allegedly. The reason the headline includes the phrase "population of addicts" is that heroin use has also increased as a result of all the prescriptions, because it not only creates a similar high, but it's also cheaper, per the lawsuit.

The drug manufacturers say the narcotics they push are safer than they are.

not funny hahaha no

The L.A. Times:

Two California counties sued five of the world's largest narcotics manufacturers on Wednesday, accusing the companies of causing the nation's prescription drug epidemic by waging a "campaign of deception" aimed at boosting sales of potent painkillers such as OxyContin. [...] The companies employed tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to "conceal their deceptive marketing and conspiratorial behavior," the suit states.

One such tactic involved the use of leading physicians — known within the companies as "key opinion leaders" — to spread the message to their peers, it says. The drug makers allegedly recruited and paid those physicians to give speeches and write policy papers.

Another marketing ploy was to create and co-opt patient advocacy organizations and medical specialty societies, the suit says. The companies used these front groups to promote narcotic painkillers and to write treatment guidelines that expanded the market, it says.

It was the drug makers' "marketing — and not any medical breakthrough — that rationalized prescribing opioids for chronic pain and opened the floodgates of opioid use and abuse," the suit says.

it's all about the money 2

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  • Nicko Thime

    Lots of justification when you needed none.
    I wasn't being judgmental, I was stating stone cold facts.
    Take them for that.

  • Okasis

    The following quote is from one of you other replies: Due to liver issues I avoid synthetic opiates, nsaids, and acetaminophen like the plague, Vicodin is a prime example.

    So do I, which may be why I don't have liver problems. And, I never claimed not to be dependent on pain meds. But, an addict does indeed need more of them to get the same affect - if it is the effect he is after, rather than maintaining a level of pain that still allows one to function as a human being.

    I am never pain free. I aim for a level of 5or if lucky, 4. That way I can read complex articles, design new equipment, and uses for old equipment, carry on conversations, and take care of my yard, dogs, and house. If the pain gets up around 8, I am confined to bed, unable to function - that is not living.

    Sure, I can forgo a pain pill, and feel pure as you claim to be. But, I'd rather have some degree of normality in my life. As I said in my original post, continual pain makes people irritable and irrational.

    Apparently getting off the vicodin - which I avoid, and is commonly over-prescribed - makes one judgmental as well. Do you have some Medical Degree that encourages you to make diagnoses of strangers based on a single internet post? Or is this a Gift, like the Radio Preachers claim they have received from on High? Do yo think that 'on High' could really be peyote of LSD?

    And no, I will not send you $5 for the cure to all my problems, pains, and addictions! As for lectures, I don't tolerate them quietly either...

  • TwoFeetThick

    Each man's pain is known only to him. Good for you.

  • wifather2000

    Oh but you the addicted one, I do have chronic pain, level 10 many days. I am in July 4 years without pain killers. It helps to be a man, and a strong one at that! I went to a pain rehabilitation center almost 4 years ago it worked for myself because I do not have an addictive personality.

  • Nicko Thime

    That's my point. Patients and doctors should demand these things.
    In the meantime, denial of addiction doesn't make you not addicted.

  • TwoFeetThick

    If they made a pill that simply shut off the pain, that would be great. But they don't. In the meantime, we have to live life, and I don't want to spend mine lying on the couch. I get very annoyed when people claim that opiates are some sort of scourge on society, when they are the only thing that allow me to live relatively normally.

  • Nicko Thime

    Not my point at all.

    Pain killers are addictive and you are addicted. That doesn't change that you need them. I don't want to keep them from you at all.

    BUT, the fact is that you are dependent on them. I wasn't trying to insult you but to make a point about the drugs themselves. I'm not blaming you for anything.
    I've lived with all sorts of pain from broken bones to severed nerves from war wounds to torn ligaments from logging.
    When I got back from Nam, wounded, I was given addictive pain killers every time I twitched after the nerve surgery.
    They killed the pain, but that didn't stop the withdrawal. That's addiction, even if it was doctor prescribed.
    Due to liver issues I avoid synthetic opiates, nsaids, and acetaminophen like the plague, Vicodin is a prime example.
    When a doctor prescribes one of these, knowing I was exposed to Hep through a transfusion, I want to slap them upside the head for medical idiocy. But this also means I have to live through some pretty extreme pain as I do understand that the strongest pain killers are currently opiates or synthetic opiates..
    Given that all addictive drugs decrease in efficacy due to tolerance buildup, they are a dead end and can only end up in serious addiction.
    That they kill pain doesn't make them non-addictive.
    That they kill pain doesn't make you or anyone who takes these drugs less dangerous on the road.

    Our medical profession, rather than either being pill pushers or condescending twits, should demand pain killers that don't sacrifice your health or safety for pain relief. Those who need such pain relief should do so as well.

    As I said, Big Pharma pushes poison.

  • Alan8

    "All this crap about people in pain abusing the system is Bullshit!"

    How true! My wife has chronic pain from multiple conditions, and has to deal with a doctor who treats her like a junkie for trying to get medication for relief from her pain. This is borderline malpractice!

    Doctors shouldn't be allowed to abuse patients like this! We live in barbaric times.

  • TwoFeetThick

    Bullshit. Also spoken by someone who doesn't suffer chronic pain. Due to deteriorating discs in my back and neck, I've taken opiates for years. They've never lost their effect - they don't, as long as you don't abuse them. If you don't know what you are talking about, keep quiet. And pray that chronic pain never finds you.

  • TwoFeetThick

    And you are obviously not someone who has to deal will the horror of pain that never stops. I hope you never do. But if you do, I hope you meet people more sympathetic than yourself.

  • Nicko Thime

    You sound as addicted as can be.

  • wifather2000

    ALL pain medications lose their effectiveness after a couple of monthes and in fact make the pain seem 2-3 times greater, it is called hyperanelgesia. If you are taking these drugs for extended periods of time you are a junkie!

  • Okasis

    Personal Responsibility anyone? I live with chronic pain. I use opiates, NSAIDS, exercise, Tia Chi, and Chi Quong , plus other non-narcotic methods to prevent pain from consuming my life. I also deal with BS like 'Pain Management Agreements' and piss tests, and other insulting means to make sure I am not just a lying, cheating, drug addict, looking for an excuse to get high.

    BTW, the piss test is not to see if I am using drugs, it verifies I AM using them - don't want 77 Y.O. users selling drugs on the street corners! All this crap about people in pain abusing the system is Bullshit! The dealers are the Drug Companies, and the enablers are the enforcers. If people who live with pain could access Marijuana without facing 20 to life in a Federal Prison... If people in pain could get the access to drugs they need... Rather than being 1) treated as criminals, and/or cheats; or 2) were not given prescriptions for large quantities of addictive drugs, with few restrictions, perhaps then it would be reasonable to blame the victims.

    I frankly hoard pain medications because I never know when I will be denied a refill. I don't use more than I am supposed to, but I don't throw out any left-over pills at the end of the month. Why would I? I seldom have a 'regular' Physician. My HMO is unable to keep them on the payroll.

    A Doctor I have never met, may or may not refill my prescription, some are Pill-Nazis, and some are lacking good sense. Some months I have to present myself in the office of a person I have no respect for, just to renew a prescription for chronic pain he/she does not approve of. Other months I have to make 2 trips [30 miles each] to pick up the prescription because I filled it a day early or a day late. Other times I have to take a piss test because a Doctor I've never met doesn't approve of pain medications.

    Some months I pray the Doctor will injure his back, develop chronic osteoarthritis, bursitis, and myofascia pain syndrome, and wind-up with chronic pain. He/She might learn that hurting all the time can make one irritable and irrational.

    Other months I just say 'fuck it!' and play the game...

  • Nicko Thime

    They sell poisons, addictive poisons. They pay doctors to addict you and I to these poisons. They lie about these poisons to that doctor and you.
    At least heroin dealers don't lie to you about what they sell.