So all eyes turn to gun control because the news reports another senseless shooting of innocent children, and we chant for change. We demand that laws and lawmakers and watchdog government agencies do a better job, be more accountable and cut red tape. We contemplate serious legal bans and even changes to the US Constitution. We want action now on guns because the media lights the fire and fans the flame.
Over 60 Deaths per Day
While this goes on, another day passes and over 60 people die of prescription drug overdose. Sixty grieving families are forever destroyed. Tomorrow will come and this staggering statistic will repeat itself. And again the next day; day after day. These parents will never hug their children again. On average every 24 minutes a person takes their last breath after taking a legal drug in the United States . . . Where is the outrage? Where is the call for action?
These parents and I believe that so much can be done to reduce the number of RX drug overdoses yet our broken system clunks along seemingly blind to the fact that the epidemic of RX drug overdoses escalates every day.
The lack of outrage is due in part to the lack of media attention this topic receives. The media neglects reporting about this epidemic. Yes, I believe the media has a conflict of interest. How long do you need to watch TV to see a drug commercial? Would you do a scathing report and broadcast it on your station so your top client would be exposed as a lying drug peddler? Remember Big Tobacco? Did we the people ever hear anything but murmurs on the secret memos and highly addictive designing of tobacco products before Big Tobacco couldn’t advertise? I think not.
The FDA is Big Pharma’s Puppet
People talk about the power of the gun lobby in our country. I suggest it is a sheep compared to the wolf that is the pharmaceutical lobby.
I attended an FDA hearing in Washington DC recently. The topic was the approval of Zohydro, a shameless effort by another greedy drug manufacturer to put more synthetic heroin in our medicine cabinets. I watched in shock as the FDA bullied the doctors weighing whether to approve this opioid because it had previously approved similar drugs. I mistakenly believed that the FDA’s Dr. Bob Rappaport who is a Director, Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Rheumatology Products, was a paid employee of or lobbyist for Zohydro’s manufacturer, Zognix, as he pressured the panel to approve the drug because the FDA had already approved so many drugs just like it.
Forget the fact that we have since discovered that those similar drugs were approved after the manufacturers outright lied about the highly addictive nature of these drugs, then marketed them to doctors using the same lies and voila, thousands of people have become addicted and died. So what do our watchdog agencies do? They fine these manufacturers hundreds of millions of dollars; put the money in their coffers while Big Pharma profits are in the billions. What do we the people do? We send our addicted children to rehab and lay our children in coffins, all at our own expense and our lives forever changed.
Nobody wants to take prescriptions away from those who need them
I’m not looking for a ban on pain killers or expecting drug abuse to ever be eradicated by any kind of legislative action or product reformulation. Dr. Douglas C. Throckmorton, head of the FDA, when questioned about tamper resistant coatings on pills (a treatment which restricts the crushing, snorting, smoking and injecting of prescriptions intended to be swallowed) stated that “the technology is relatively new.” There’s no such thing as a cure all, but there are measures that slow the progress of an epidemic and that’s what we’d like to see in place of a corrupt approval process and a broken system of distribution.
Were seat belts and airbags a cure-all to traffic deaths? Was the needle exchange program a cure-all to AIDS? Are stop signs a cure-all to idiots who run through them? Are stricter drinking and driving penalties a cure all? No they are not! These preventative measures have reduced the number of deaths and injury and that was the realistic goal.
So no Dr. Throckmorton, Doug, we don’t expect a cure-all! Ask any Opioid addict and they will tell you that when the tamper resistant coating was applied to Oxycotin and Opana its popularity among addicts went down and other prescription opiates that did not have this protection moved to the top of their list alongside heroin!
OXY returns as a Generic so the FDA’s plan . . . NADA!
This year, the patent expires on the original Oxy formula and Oxy comes back out in its original easy-to-abuse form as a generic. The FDA and Dr. Douglas Throckmorton stated “those generic formulations will not be covered by the (FDA) guidance; nor will other immediate-release generic opioids currently on the market.” Boy, it sure is great that the FDA can ignore their responsibility to the citizens of this country and downplay efforts to address the common ways a drug is abused.
The FDA is an agency we Americans expect to protect us from these dangerous drugs. Perhaps a cure-all to the FDA rubber stamping approval of highly addictive drugs and disregarding the devastating impact of generic release of drugs that have contributed to an epidemic of addiction and death is to stop allowing Big Pharma the ability to fund the FDA and pay its’ panel of doctors for “consulting” work.
This has everything to do with a system of manufacturing, approving, prescribing, advertising and pushing powerful dangerous and deadly drugs into our homes that is killing our children at a rate that is more than double the loss of life at Sandy Hook every single day of the year! Approximately 700 times as many children die from a prescription drug overdose than in school shootings annually. Where is the outrage? Not in the media and not in the government. You’ve gotta ask: Why the hell not?