“Can you believe it? The DEA knew that manufacturers and pharmacy suppliers dumped 76 billion opioid pills into the American market between 2006 and 2012 but did nothing!”

“Mallinckrodt, Endo, Actavis, and Pan Pharmaceuticals manufactured 88 percent of those pills. Cardinal Health, McKesson, Johnson and Johnson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, companies we trust and deal with every day, distributed the opioid crisis, not regular physicians such as we have working in Winchester,” I replied.

“You docs certainly have taken a lot of heat.”

“Government officials and the media have painted us as the evil over-prescribers of hydrocodone and oxycodone,” I replied. “My prescriptions for 90 hydrocodone a month to grandma with hypertension, diabetes, and terrible arthritis in her back and knees was never the issue.

“Making these solid citizens pee in a cup for their refills every three months serves no purpose. Each urine drug screen costs $200, which drives up health-care costs. I have 200 such patients and found NO ONE that I suspect of not taking their medications and instead selling them on the street for $8 a pill.”

“Didn’t the drug manufacturers come up with all sorts of products to prevent misuse?” asked Phineas.

“I recall manufacturers hosted many dinner programs to introduce all sorts of new opioid formulations to prevent diversion and misuse,” I replied. “To make matters worse we physicians were made to feel incompetent at assessing patient’s need for opioids. We were told we needed to heed the fifth vital sign, namely pain, and provide medications at whatever dose it took to relieve our patient’s pain.”

“Is it realistic to believe you can relieve 100 percent of some one’s pain?” asked Phineas.

“No. I make that clear to patients. I use physical therapy and combinations of other non-opioids to reduce pain, not just load up on more hydrocodone.”

“The DEA certainly dropped the proverbial ball in Florida in terms of monitoring and shutting down revolving door operations where fraudulent physicians performed cursory exams, wrote for enormous quantities of opioids, then patients, customers really, went next door to fill their prescriptions before driving home to Tennessee or Kentucky.”

“Aren’t there laws requiring pharmacists and distributors notify authorities if they smell a red flag rat?”

“I recall a West Virginia town pharmacy received then dispensed enough hydrocodone for every man, woman, and child to receive a thousand pills per month.”

“Everyone was making tons of money,” replied Phineas. “No reason to blow the whistle on their personal gravy train.”

“Towns were flooded with opioids, which became illicit and directly responsible for 100,000 deaths and the tremendous financial strain on local emergency services.”

“I heard that entire towns have been turned into unemployment wastelands where opioid addicted zombies roam the streets without hope of any help.”

“Where does the opium come from? Are we in Afghanistan to protect the supply chain?”

“Sounds as if you physicians are due a big fat apology from those who accused you of inappropriately providing and over-prescribing opioids,” said Phineas.

Greg Kujala is a resident of Winchester.

(8) comments

Rattler

I totally agree. I actually didnt want to go to another subject to argue about. You suprise me with your view. I traveled extensively with my job in the US and pot was legal in many areas. It is a wonder drug for pain and yes non addictive. Now the naysayers will say but its a gateway drug to harder substances. Those of us who grew up in 60 and 70 know this is not true. Marijuana is not addictive and would live to see it legalized. But since I follow the law, Kratom is legal, therefore my herb of choice at this time

Eredmon

Thank you, Dr Kujala for this forum. The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of not allowing good doctors to provide patients with adequate pain relief. Doctors should be able to mitigate and hopefully cure suffering, and they cannot do that with one pen tied behind their back. Thank you for speaking up.

Rattler

Yes tyvm. When the doctors totally quit prescribing opoids for pain releif, because of the FDA it just pushed more people to the street for pills and probably eventually herion. They will eventually see the dragon and search for him everyday to find out he no longer exists. By then its too late for most addicts. The percentage of addicts who get clean and stay clean is very small. Pain is real. Its a shame where after surgeries you may get 5 hydrocone. Some people cant take 800mg of ibuprofen. Legitimate physicians are not the blame. Now the FDA is going after CBD oil and Kratom. Kratom can be a lifesaver for pain and some addicts have used this leaf from the tree to get off opoids. FDAand big pharma dont want herbal alternatives. The American Kratom Association is certifying vendors to make sure their products are unadulterated. Please go to the AKA and see what this leaf MAY do for you. Again legitimate physicians are not responsible for the opoid addiction. Where was the great FDA?

Conservative

Marijuana for pain relief. Non-addictive.

Rattler

That is true also, but I didn't want to go there. Thought I would just let people know about a legal herb. Just dont buy kratom from mini markets or head shops. Buy from reputable vendor that is certified

CRT

Why don't you want to go there, Rattler? Why not legalize marijuana or at least use it for medicinal purposes. It's a plant for goodness sake. It's not addictive and is less harmful than alcohol.

woke-unicorn

Great. Make sure you remember that when you airplane pilot is coughing up bong resin. Mkay

woke-unicorn

I see another sociopath among us. How many does it take before people like you care? Or is it the color of those dying that has you blinded?

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