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posted by janrinok on Monday February 12 2018, @05:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the prevent-pill-popping dept.

Pain Pill Giant Purdue to Stop Promotion of Opioids to Doctors

Pain-pill giant Purdue Pharma LP will stop promoting its opioid drugs to doctors, a retreat after years of criticism that the company's aggressive sales efforts helped lay the foundation of the U.S. addiction crisis.

The company told employees this week that it would cut its sales force by more than half, to 200 workers. It plans to send a letter Monday to doctors saying that its salespeople will no longer come to their clinics to talk about the company's pain products.

"We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers," the company said in a statement. Instead, any questions doctors have will be directed to the Stamford, Connecticut-based company's medical affairs department.

OxyContin, approved in 1995, is the closely held company's biggest-selling drug, though sales of the pain pill have declined in recent years amid competition from generics. It generated $1.8 billion in 2017, down from $2.8 billion five years earlier, according to data compiled by Symphony Health Solutions. It also sells the painkiller Hysingla.

Oxycodone.

Also at Reuters, USA Today, The Verge, and CNN.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue

Related: Opioid Crisis Partly Blamed on a 1980 Letter to the New England Journal of Medicine
President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
CVS Limits Opioid Prescriptions
Congress Reacts to Reports that a 2016 Law Hindered DEA's Ability to go after Opioid Distributors
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan


Original Submission

Related Stories

City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma 23 comments

An American city is suing the maker of OxyContin for its alleged role in fueling the national opioid epidemic:

After spending millions to combat the opioid epidemic ravaging its citizens, the working-class city of Everett, Washington, is taking the maker of opioid painkiller OxyContin to federal court. The city claims that the drug maker, Purdue Pharma, knowingly sold to black markets out of pure greed, enabling the devastating epidemic hitting Everett and the rest of the country.

According to the lawsuit (PDF) filed in federal court in Seattle, Everett accuses Purdue Pharma of "knowingly, recklessly, and/or negligently supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market, including to drug rings, pill mills, and other dealers for dispersal of the highly addictive pills in Everett." Purdue's goal, Everett alleges, was to "generate enormous profits" at the expense of the people of Everett. [...] "Our community has been significantly damaged, and we need to be made whole," Everett's mayor, Ray Stephanson, told ABC News.

[...] In a statement, Purdue disputed Everett's claims, saying that it did notify the DEA and acted responsibly. "We look forward to presenting the facts in court," the company said. Purdue also said that its opioids now account for less than two percent of US opioid prescriptions.


Original Submission

OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem 39 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Patients would no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night to take their pills, Purdue told doctors. One OxyContin tablet in the morning and one before bed would provide "smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night."

When Purdue unveiled OxyContin in 1996, it touted 12-hour duration.

On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America's bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped $31 billion in revenue.

But OxyContin's stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn't last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

The problem offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.

Over the last 20 years, more than 7 million Americans have abused OxyContin, according to the federal government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The drug is widely blamed for setting off the nation's prescription opioid epidemic, which has claimed more than 190,000 lives from overdoses involving OxyContin and other painkillers since 1999.

The internal Purdue documents reviewed by The Times come from court cases and government investigations and include many records sealed by the courts. They span three decades, from the conception of OxyContin in the mid-1980s to 2011, and include emails, memos, meeting minutes and sales reports, as well as sworn testimony by executives, sales reps and other employees.

The documents provide a detailed picture of the development and marketing of OxyContin, how Purdue executives responded to complaints that its effects wear off early, and their fears about the financial impact of any departure from 12-hour dosing.

Opioid Crisis Partly Blamed on a 1980 Letter to the New England Journal of Medicine 16 comments

Researchers have found that a one paragraph letter to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 was "uncritically cited as evidence that addiction was rare with long-term opioid therapy" [emphasis in original retained]:

Canadian researchers have traced the origins of the opioid crisis to one letter published almost 40 years ago.

The letter, which said opioids were not addictive, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 1980.

Dr David Juurlink says the journal's prestige helped fuel the misguided belief that opioids were safe.

His research found that the letter was cited more than 600 times, usually to argue that opioids were not addictive.

On Wednesday, the NEJM published Dr Juurlink's rebuttal to the 1980 letter, along with his team's analysis of the number of times the letter was cited by other researchers.

The two names to blame? Dr. Hershel Jick and his assistant Jane Porter. Dr. Jick did not anticipate the misuse of his short letter:

Jick still works at Boston University School of Medicine. He told the Associated Press this week that he is "essentially mortified that that letter to the editor was used as an excuse to do what these drug companies did."

"They used this letter to spread the word that these drugs were not very addictive," he said. Jick noted that he testified as a government witness in a lawsuit some years ago concerning the marketing of pain drugs.

A 1980 Letter on the Risk of Opioid Addiction (DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1700150) (DX)

Addiction Rare in Patients Treated with Narcotics (DOI: 10.1056/NEJM198001103020221) (DX)


Original Submission

President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency 50 comments

After some initial confusion about the White House's plans earlier in the week, President Trump has followed the recommendation of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and declared the opioid crisis to be a national emergency. He has promised to spend "a lot" of time, effort, and money to combat the problem:

Among the other recommendations were to rapidly increase treatment capacity for those who need substance abuse help; to establish and fund better access to medication-assisted treatment programs; and to make sure that health care providers are aware of the potential for misuse and abuse of prescription opioids by enhancing prevention efforts at medical and dental schools.

President Trump also decried a slowdown in federal prosecutions of drug crimes and a reduction in sentence lengths. Activists and policy experts are wary of an enforcement-heavy approach:

Bill Piper, senior director for the Drug Policy Alliance, told CNN Tuesday that stricter enforcement "has never worked" and the President would be "better focusing on the treatment side of things." "A supply side approach to drugs has never worked," Piper said. "That is what has been tried for decades and it has failed for every drug it has applied to, including alcohol during Prohibition. As long as there has been and[sic] demand for drugs, there will be a supply." Trump would not be the first administration to crack down on drug use by focusing on enforcement, but Piper said doing so would play into a desire to "sound tough," not actually solve the problem. "It makes it look like they are doing something even when they are not," Piper said.

Trump also advocated for more abstinence-based treatment to combat the opioid crisis. "The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem. If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off," Trump said. That sort of strategy advocates for targeting kids and young adults with anti-drug messaging, evocative of the "Just Say No" ad campaign of the 1980s and early 1990s.

This crisis is serious, folks:

"It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. You know when I was growing up, they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs. There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years. And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem. This is happening worldwide. But this is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now to so attest."


Original Submission

Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs 25 comments

Since 2009, hospital intensive care units have witnessed a stark increase in opioid-related admissions and deaths, according to new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) Center for Healthcare Delivery Science. Published online today ahead of print in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, the study is believed to be the first to quantify the impact of opioid abuse on critical care resources in the United States. The findings reveal that opioid-related demand for acute care services has outstripped the available supply.

Analyzing data from the period between January 1, 2009 and September 31, 2015, the researchers documented a 34 percent increase in overdose-related ICU admissions. The average cost of care per ICU overdose admissions rose by 58 percent, from $58,517 in 2009 to $92,408 in 2015 (in 2015 dollars). Meanwhile opioid deaths in the ICU nearly doubled during that same period. "This study tells us that the opioid epidemic has made people sicker and killed more people, in spite of all the care we can provide in the ICU, including mechanical ventilation, acute dialysis, life support and round-the-clock care," said the study's lead author, Jennifer P. Stevens, MD, associate director of the medical intensive care unit at BIDMC and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

[...] These data not only document the scope of the opioid abuse epidemic, they also reveal its complexity. Stevens and colleagues suggest that any opioid overdose-related admission is a preventable one, and that the team's findings not only represent the need for increased acute care resources, but also for expanded opioid-abuse prevention and treatment.

The article is paywalled but there is an abstract: The Critical Care Crisis of Opioid Overdoses in the United States

Source

-- submitted from IRC


Original Submission

South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue 11 comments

South Carolina has become the sixth U.S. state to sue opioid makers over their marketing practices and contribution to the opioid epidemic:

The lawsuit by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, filed in Richland County Court of Common Pleas in Columbia, accuses the company of the unfair and deceptive marketing of opioid painkillers. Wilson claimed Purdue has told doctors that patients who receive prescriptions for opioids generally will not become addicted and those who appeared to be were only "pseudoaddicted" and needed more of the drugs.

[...] Since a 2007 settlement with South Carolina, Purdue has continued to downplay the addictiveness of its opioid products and overstated the benefits compared to other pain management treatments, according to the lawsuit. "While there is a time and place for patients to receive opioids, Purdue prevented doctors and patients from receiving complete and accurate information about opioids in order to make informed choices about their treatment options," Wilson said in a statement.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue denied the allegations and said it shares the concerns of South Carolina officials about the crisis and is committed to finding solutions. Purdue and other drugmakers have been sued over opioid products by Oklahoma, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and New Hampshire as well as cities and counties in California, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and New York.

Is this Big Pharma's Tobacco Moment?


Original Submission

CVS Limits Opioid Prescriptions 76 comments

CVS is finally trying to do something about the opioid epidemic:

Drug-store chain CVS Health announced Thursday that it will limit opioid prescriptions in an effort to combat the epidemic that accounted for 64,000 overdose deaths last year alone.

Amid pressure on pharmacists, doctors, insurers and drug companies to take action, CVS also said it would boost funding for addiction programs, counseling and safe disposal of opioids.

[...] The company's prescription drug management division, CVS Caremark, which provides medications to nearly 90 million people, said it would use its sweeping influence to limit initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies for new patients facing acute ailments.

It will instruct pharmacists to contact doctors when they encounter prescriptions that appear to offer more medication than would be deemed necessary for a patient's recovery. The doctor would be asked to revise it. Pharmacists already reach out to physicians for other reasons, such as when they prescribe medications that aren't covered by a patient's insurance plan.

The plan also involves capping daily dosages and initially requiring patients to get versions of the medications that dispense pain relief for a short period instead of a longer duration.

[...] "The whole effort here is to try to reduce the number of people who are going to end up with some sort of opioid addiction problem," CVS Chief Medical Officer Troyen Brennan said in an interview.

It appears this initiative is limited to initial filling of prescriptions — there is no mention of changes in the handling of refills.


Original Submission

Congress Reacts to Reports that a 2016 Law Hindered DEA's Ability to go after Opioid Distributors 22 comments

Congress has responded strongly to a joint investigation by CBS and The Washington Post (archive) about Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) employees becoming lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry, and the passage of a bill in 2016 hobbling the DEA's ability to go after opioid distributors and suspicious drug sales:

Lawmakers and the Drug Enforcement Administration are facing tough questions following an explosive joint investigation by "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post that says Congress helped disarm the DEA.

Drug overdose deaths in the United States have more than doubled over the past decade. The CDC says 188,000 people have died from opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2015.

Joe Rannazzisi used to run the DEA's diversion control. He told "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker that the opioid crisis was aided in part by Congress, lobbyists and the drug distribution industry. The DEA says it has taken actions against far fewer opioid distributors under a new law. A Justice Department memo shows 65 doctors, pharmacies and drug companies received suspension orders in 2011. Only six of them have gotten them this year.

[...] [The] DEA's efforts may have been undermined by the so-called "revolving door" culture in Washington. At least 46 investigators, attorneys and supervisors from the DEA, including 32 directly from the division that regulates the drug industry, have been hired by the pharmaceutical industry since the scrutiny on distributors began.

From The Washington Post:

The chief advocate of the law that hobbled the DEA was Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican who is now President Trump's nominee to become the nation's next drug czar. Marino spent years trying to move the law through Congress. It passed after Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) negotiated a final version with the DEA.

Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan 98 comments

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem." – President Donald J. Trump

President Trump has declared the "Opioid Crisis" a nationwide public health emergency. This action will allow for "expanded access to telemedicine services" to remotely prescribe medicines for substance abuse, allow the Department of Health and Human Services to "more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively to our Nation's ongoing public health emergency", allow the Department of Labor to issue dislocated worker grants for those "displaced from the workforce" due to the Opioid Crisis, and will help people with HIV/AIDS to receive substance abuse treatment. The press release lists several actions that the Trump Administration has taken to respond to the Opioid Crisis, including the July 2017 law enforcement action against AlphaBay.

The declaration has been criticized for not requesting any funds to respond to the Crisis. The "nationwide public health emergency" declaration is also distinct from a promised "national emergency declaration", which would have freed up money from the Disaster Relief Fund to be spent on the Crisis. 14 Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would authorize $45 billion to address the Opioid Crisis. The Obama Administration called on Congress last year to pass just over $1 billion in funding for opioid treatment programs nationwide. This funding was included in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Department of Justice has arrested and charged the founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., John Kapoor, along with other executives from his company. Kapoor is accused with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and illegally distribute the company's fentanyl spray, intended for cancer patients, so that it could be prescribed for non-cancer patients. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January. Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said, "Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit. Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable - just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer." Six former Insys executives and managers were charged in December.

[takyon: a262 would like you to know that Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to help defeat Arizona's 2016 ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational use of cannabis.]

"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S. 51 comments

Synthetics now killing more people than prescription opioids, report says

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have overtaken prescription opioids as the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.2844] [DX], calculated the number and percentage of synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States between 2010 and 2016 using death certificates from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found that about 46% of the 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, while 40% involved prescription drugs.

That's more than a three-fold increase in the presence of synthetic opioids from 2010, when synthetic drugs were involved in approximately 14% of opioid-overdose deaths.

Related: Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make
Two More Studies Link Access to Cannabis to Lower Use of Opioids


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Monday February 12 2018, @06:26PM (10 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @06:26PM (#636761) Journal

    Everybody and their dog is suing Opioid manufacturers these days. Cities, States, - but somehow the captured FDA missed the memo.
    Maybe the drug companies are starting to see these actions as eating all the profit they stand to make on the drugs.

    More people are killed by opioid overdoses [drugabuse.gov] than car crashes. [nytimes.com]

    The car crash rate has got every technerd in a rage to get human hands off of the steering wheel regardless of how immature the technology for doing so is.
    But ask these same people about the right to kill themselves with manufactured drugs and its suddenly a freedom of choice issue (as long as treatment is free, and medical services are free, and drugs are free all paid for by taxpayers).

    I think this whole business of sending salesmen to market drugs to doctors needs to be entirely rethought.
    I understand, you have to get information about new drugs out to doctors somehow. But supplying doctors with seemingly never ending free samples and dubious claims and sales pitches seems the wrong way to go about it. Maybe truth in advertising should be applied to these sales calls.

    (And advertising prescription drugs on national TV should stop too.)

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday February 12 2018, @06:33PM (5 children)

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Monday February 12 2018, @06:33PM (#636765) Homepage Journal

      She brought home a pad of paper each page of which said "Stellazine: A Classic Antipsychotic".

      My friend gave it to me because I was actually taking Stellazine at the time.

      Do drug companies give t-shirts to doctors?

      --
      My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
      • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Monday February 12 2018, @08:17PM (3 children)

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday February 12 2018, @08:17PM (#636811)

        Way more than just that. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/892290 [medscape.com]

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @11:09PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @11:09PM (#636867)

          Do Free Drug Rep Lunches Sway Doctors? See What Physicians Say

          Lunches and gifts from drug reps are still an issue. The Open Payments website, created under the Affordable Care Act, requires physicians to report any transaction that amounts to $10 or more, as well as items that are under $10 if the yearly total exceeds $100. The requirement that free lunches and some free samples must be reported has led half a million physicians and more than 100,000 other healthcare providers to be listed on the site.

          Meals from drug reps were reported by a whopping 96% of providers who are listed on the website, according to Thomas Sullivan, who is a leading expert on the Open Payments site.

          A Medscape article on this issue sparked emotional responses from many physicians. Many were insulted and adamant that catered lunches and small gifts from drug reps do not influence their prescribing habits. Others said that these freebies can cloud a physician's objectivity. A few said that they like learning about drugs from reps during catered lunches and that the lunch is a well-deserved break for their staff. Still others said that seeing reps is a total waste of time.
          'Drug Rep Lunches Are Harmless'

          An intensivist who isn't swayed by drug reps' lunches said, "The very idea that I would prescribe a drug I did not think was effective because someone buys me a lunch or dinner is offensive and absurd! I often learn a lot, and I like to get samples for my patients to try before they purchase."

          "The fact that the rep brings lunch is not going to sway me to prescribe a drug I don't believe in, but it sometimes helps inform me about the drug, and we are lucky to find time for lunch anyway," said a general surgeon.

          A psychiatrist who has received promotional pens said, "I used to use pens that had various drug names on them, and surprisingly these pens never forced my hand into writing the name of the drug that was on the pen I was using at the time."

          An internist said, "I practiced medicine for 51 years and was not in any way influenced by the occasional lunch (or God forgive a pen or scratchpad). Those who make these laws had better look in the mirror. They are the ones accepting all kinds of gratuities from the army of lobbyists."

          Another healthcare provider said, "I've never been swayed by a free lunch or pen. If grabbing some lunch in my office provided by a rep provides useful info as well as saving my staff a couple of bucks, who cares? I am the boss of my own ethics, not some corporation."
          Drug Lunches and Small Gifts Can Be Persuasive

          Among physicians who felt that lunches and small gifts indeed can influence a physician's prescribing habits, one public health physician said, "I'm sad to read comments from so many docs who don't believe they are influenced by drug-rep perks, even small gifts like pens. These are not conscious decisions we make. Encounters with drug reps and the perks they offer, even pens (maybe especially pens because we might use them frequently), get their names into our heads subconsciously, and we develop the biases unintentionally. I was pleased when learning more than a decade ago that my residency program had already (based on ample scientific evidence) set policy saying that drug reps were not allowed in clinic. Everyone who is convinced that they are immune to the influences of drug reps should read the literature on bias and then decide whether it's worth continuing the practice (for their patients' and society's sakes—we all bear the financial burden)."

          A psychiatrist cautioned, "Virtually every physician says the same thing: 'I'm not influenced by free food or stuff,' yet the studies on this show that this sentiment is wrong. Even worse are the 'thought leaders' designated by the drug companies who give the talks that come with the free food. They influence their peers some, but more importantly they increase their use of the drugs that are sponsoring them by a factor of up to five times or more."

          One alternative to drug reps' lunches could be just giving information about the drug, sans lunch, says a neurologist. "If catered lunches for doctors and their staff had no effect on the recipients, you can be certain the drug companies would not do it. There is no reason why a drug rep cannot give you a brief summary and some literature about a new drug in the privacy of your office. The food wasted and the plastic that comes with it are obscene."

          A pain management physician has a clear policy when it comes to drug reps. "I feel bad for the reps. They have a job to do, but to me it is just not worth it. We don't see any reps, we don't accept any lunches, no samples."

          "The drug companies don't pay $250 million a year on free food (that's in addition to free samples and paying off the "thought leaders" and researchers) out of the goodness of their hearts," noted a psychiatrist. "They are in it for the bottom line. I'm not against that, per se, but you have to be aware that, as a physician, you are the focus of an intense sales program."
          A Nice Break for the Staff

          Some physicians are pleased with the information they receive from drug reps, and they feel that free lunches are a nice perk for their hard-working staff.

          A family physician said, "What is wrong with helping us, the doctors, NPs, CMAs, clerks who work long hours without breaks to help the patients? Having food brought to you, ready to eat, for your 20-minute break is a great service to a very tired body of workers. Helping us helps the patients.... Give me a break, most of us (medical professionals) cannot even remember who brought us lunch, unfortunately. The pharm companies will eventually find out that the meals are not much better than the pens in reminding of us particular drugs. We are just too busy and too tired. The food really helps us continue working without wasting time getting our own."

          Eating lunch with a rep even has unexpected benefits, said another healthcare professional. "I have been very pleased with the reps who come to my office. I eat the lunch and get to know them. When there is a problem of obtaining a drug for a patient or a side effect, I call them first. They have been very helpful in solving those problems. If I don't have patients who fit the criteria for their medications, I don't use the medications. Also, the staff enjoys the perk. I'm sure there will be more "research" coming out of institutes of "higher learning" that get tons of money for "research" from big pharma telling me how horrible it is for me to get the lunch because I'm being paid off."

          Yet another physician agreed. "I deal with the launch of new drugs all the time. First I read about them, then look at the data sets, then talk to my partners, then the rep comes. I like the samples and sometimes the info or help understanding the new drug. I could skip the lunch if I wanted to, but the office workers like it and the reps like it. Does it make me use the drug? I guess it might push toward the drug if we have a sample but otherwise no."

          Finally, a healthcare provider who worked in a hospital described this experience: "I recall receiving pen lights used in direct patient assessments, thus benefiting the patients, and although they had a logo, it was covered by the hand when used and in pocket when not in use so never actually seen.... We were often required to attend the presentations, which cut into our lunch breaks, and if not for the free food we wouldn't have eaten at all, so patients benefited by having nourished staff rather than run-down, low-blood-sugar staff caring for them."

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday February 12 2018, @11:37PM (1 child)

            by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday February 12 2018, @11:37PM (#636877) Journal
            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NotSanguine on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:16AM

              by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:16AM (#636897) Homepage Journal

              My brother is a physician and he used to be invited (all expenses paid) to various "conferences" on the beach, ski resorts and the like at least a few times a year.

              These days any compensation (including gifts, lunches, trips and the like) must be reported on the Open Payments Database [cms.gov], which has cut down on the outright bribery.

              But having someone in your face, taking you to lunch, giving you samples and pushing marketing materials at you can have an effect. In fact, that's been big pharma's playbook for a very, very long time.

              I think that arbitraging drug costs from outside the US would be a good first step. It would either cause the pharmaceutical companies to reduce their prices in the US or raise them around the world. If the former, Americans won't be raped as badly by these ridiculous prices. If the latter, they'd find out that they really need to charge reasonable prices or folks just won't use their drugs.

              --
              No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday February 12 2018, @10:05PM

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday February 12 2018, @10:05PM (#636848)

        T-Shirts I haven't seen. Doesn't mean they don't exist.

        Post its, pens, notepads, letter openers, paperweights, mousepads, flashlights, and every type of promotional gewgaw under the sun. If it is an office supply and can have the drug name put on it, it's probably had it. Lunches or dinners for physician and pharmacy offices where they can speak to staff are still common.

        It's still better than the "old days" when they could do things like vacations and airfares for "conferences" in resort destinations. (Ever seen "The Fugitive" movie with Harrison Ford?)

        A relatively recent article on the phenomenon: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811591/ [nih.gov]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @07:56PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @07:56PM (#636802)

      And all this while the gov is supposedly waging a war on drugs.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Monday February 12 2018, @11:12PM

        by c0lo (156) on Monday February 12 2018, @11:12PM (#636869)

        Now, now, what exactly do you want to imply?
        The pharma industry produces medicines, not drugs.

        (grin)

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 12 2018, @09:29PM (1 child)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @09:29PM (#636836) Journal

      The car crash rate has got every technerd in a rage to get human hands off of the steering wheel regardless of how immature the technology for doing so is. But ask these same people about the right to kill themselves with manufactured drugs and its suddenly a freedom of choice issue (as long as treatment is free, and medical services are free, and drugs are free all paid for by taxpayers).

      Now point to someone who actually does have all those contradictory beliefs. For example, I favor freedom of choice in each case (with little "free" treatment except in instances where there is considerable positive social value, like immunizations or prenatal care). The problem with characterizing the beliefs of amorphous blobs of people is that it is trivial to find people who disagree. Such disagreement can at a superficial glance appear to contradictory until you realize it comes from people with different life experiences and different self-interests.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:00AM (#636972)

        Ban teh human drivers! They kill!

        Ban teh opioids! They Kill! Unless I have a lot of pain, then it better be *really* cheap or free to me!

        I gots me free healthy care! My jerb pays it all, cuz I gots me a real job writing javascript apps. Iz a real software engineer! Except the fraction of the premium automatically deducted from my paycheck. And except the US$x000/year deductible and the US$40 copays and the $30 perscriptions.

        Yeah, I got it all free, bitches!!!!!

        And ban teh beaners. They can code better than me, but don't tell my boss.

        And keep teh wimmenz naked and prego in teh kitchen, cuz they can code better than me too. That you can tell my boss, cuz he likes it like that!

  • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Monday February 12 2018, @06:29PM (4 children)

    by captain normal (2205) on Monday February 12 2018, @06:29PM (#636762)

    They are all big dealers turning good people in to junkies. Throw all Big Pharm Pushers in to prison and toss away the keys.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @06:59PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @06:59PM (#636777)

      Throw all Big Pharm Pushers in to prison and toss away the keys.

      Throw all Big Pharm Pushers in to prison and toss away the prison.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday February 12 2018, @08:13PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @08:13PM (#636810) Journal

        Throw all Big Pharm Pushers and their crony big prison buddies in to prison and toss away the prison.

        FTFY. That's the very profitable circle of capitalism right there: addiction peddlers and their penal peddling pals who lock up said addicts.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Monday February 12 2018, @08:26PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday February 12 2018, @08:26PM (#636813)

        Yo dawg, I heard you like prisons, so I threw you in your own prison that you bribed politicians to open with "3 strikes" drug laws.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:15AM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:15AM (#636895) Homepage Journal

        I say we let them go!

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z0VMI67a4Y [youtube.com]

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Monday February 12 2018, @06:30PM (9 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday February 12 2018, @06:30PM (#636763) Journal

    The Nancy Reagan style of puritanical drug-warriors that have sadly come back into style only serve to create more laws, more prisoners and a bigger government.

    Any Libertarians in the house who find themselves allied with these non-conservative Republicans should be speaking up.

    We should learn from Switzerland. [pri.org]

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Sulla on Monday February 12 2018, @06:55PM (6 children)

      by Sulla (5173) on Monday February 12 2018, @06:55PM (#636775) Journal

      I think that drug companies cutting back on marketing is much more effective than the limp wrist authoritarian stuff being pushed by Sessions. Sessions was a bad pic in my mind, doubling down on the pointless drug war that does nothing but piss away taxpayer money.

      I am always really torn on drug use/regulation. I lean toward everything being legal because the government can f off and leave people to do what they want. Sometimes that opinion is hard to deal with when I see at least one drugged out person a day on my way to work wandering the streets screaming at the top of their lungs and trying to claw their eyes out. Drugs are pretty fucked. If all legal though I imagine it would be cheaper and the ones that just want to zone out will be satisfied with smoking pot or opium and not move on to pcp or lsd.

      I think a good avenue might be full legalization of drugs but stronger education campaigns for doing heirarchy of danger and risky outcomes.

      --
      "I'd rather take a political risk for peace rather than risk peace in pursuit of politics" - President Donald J. Trump
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @07:12PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @07:12PM (#636784)

        I don't have a problem with people being able to take whatever drugs they want. A lot of people don't have a problem with that. I don't have any problem with narcotic pain killers. I might go months without taking one. But then there are people who just can't say no.

        So how do we protect people1 from taking bad things that can harm them? We need more government regulations to help us! And more government regulations to help with problems caused by previous government regulations.

        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

        1the real question is how do we protect ourselves from people who take drugs that harm them? Just like I don't want to have to use tax money to pay to raise someone else's kid, I also don't want to have to pay for mental health or prisons for problems caused by certain people and their use of drugs. I guess if there were an obvious solution, we would already be doing it. Or not, because: congress.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Monday February 12 2018, @07:14PM

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday February 12 2018, @07:14PM (#636786) Journal

        I'd mod you insightful if you didn't lump in LSD with PCP.

        A lot of mainstream news articles about cannabis (or kratom) say something along the lines [cnn.com] of "Marijuana, which is listed on Schedule 1 along with hard drugs like heroin and LSD". But LSD is one of the safest recreational drugs [ias.org.uk] in use, despite all the talk of jumping out of windows.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Monday February 12 2018, @08:18PM (1 child)

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @08:18PM (#636812) Journal

        Sometimes that opinion is hard to deal with when I see at least one drugged out person a day on my way to work wandering the streets screaming at the top of their lungs and trying to claw their eyes out.

        Those people are mentally fucked to begin with. The drugs are just a symptom of their underlying mental disorders as they provide relief and/or escape. I'm more afraid of random drunken assholes when I'm out than a homeless dude trying to forget that he's homeless and living in his own filth.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @09:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @09:53PM (#636846)

          Sometimes drug use is caused by mental illness but mostly it is caused by a lifetime's worth of bad decisions made one day at a time. I have absolutely no sympathy towards filthy junkies shitting and pissing on my property and breaking into cars and houses in my neighborhood. In fact, I chase them away along with any dealers I see. Fuck them all.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Monday February 12 2018, @09:01PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @09:01PM (#636827) Journal

        Your post makes me believe that you have missed a point, Sulla. It isn't the opioids, so much, as the hard core PUSHING of those drugs. The drugs should be available, of course. They are valuable, when they are actually needed. But, they should be pretty much out of sight, and out of mind. Any reasonably competent doctor knows that pain management is a thing. Even less than reasonably competent doctors know about pain management. When a patient is in pain, the doctor should have a decent idea what the patient needs - a mild pain killer, a stronger pain killer, a very strong pain killer, or, in extremis, hospice care to ease the patient out of this life. Any and all pharmacies should have these drugs available, and the doctor's choice should be just that - the DOCTOR'S choice.

        But, that hard core pushing. Salesman comes to Doc's office, and promises exaggerated bullshit results for his drug, while at the same time offering free samples, bulk sales deals, and rewards for pushing the product. Even a moderately wealthy doctor is going to take notice if offered a free cruise, if only he pushes a few more of these pills.

        Worse, the marketing brochures were published and targeted at THE PATIENTS!! Each time I go to the doctor's office, I see new brochures, telling me that I need to ask my doctor about drugs X, Y, and Z. I seldom pick up a magazine, but there are ads in the magazines. Television, ditto. Radio shows? Yep, more ads - "If you have problems with blah blah blah, ask your doctor about Preparation Zeta!"

        This is all bullshit, and Purdue is belatedly admitting that fact. Drugs, kinda like most tools, should sit in the doctor's "toolbox", and when he needs them, he looks for the correct tool for the job, and uses enough of it to get the job done. The stuff shouldn't be marketed openly, like candy.

        I was registered as an EMT in 1980. Part of my training included lectures about controlled drugs. (same lessons applied to over the counter uncontrolled drugs, but the threat of legal action was absent in that situation) An EMT should almost never administer narcotics, opioids, barbiturates, or other drugs. ONLY under a doctor's direction should an EMT be giving people drugs. That is not what we have today. EMT/Paramedic teams turn to opioids immediately when the get a patient. Opioids are the default. Why? Not everyone needs strong pain killers. A broken bone is pretty painful, if you attempt to use it - but in many cases, so long as you don't disturb the break, it is nearly painless. Yet - the first thing an EMT asks is, "how bad is the pain?" Stupid question - if it hurts bad, the patient is going to TELL YOU how much it hurts!! Ask a leading question, get the response you were hoping for, and you can break out the good drugs, and charge for them!

        Pushers, everywhere you look. Millions, maybe billions of dollars, paid to people just to push the damned drugs.

        We need to shut all of that shit down, and allow things to go back to 1980's more normal usage. You'll still get addicts, but the numbers will shrink to a small fraction of what we have today. Just take away the rewards for pushing drugs, things will have to get better.

        --
        Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday February 12 2018, @10:36PM

          by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday February 12 2018, @10:36PM (#636856)

          Generally speaking, EMT-B's mostly can't give the drugs - not the ones you're speaking of. An EMT-B's scope is oxygen, oral glucose, oral charcoal, aspirin, and maybe possibly nitro, albuterol, and epipen (though usually the last three are help patients to self-administer if they already have them... Benadryl is now out of style as survival rates are just as good if it is pushed in the ER). And almost always none of the above without a clear order from medical control except oxygen and aspirin. EMT-P (Paramedic) is a different question, but most Medics I've known are pretty stingy with narcotics. Dilaudid is a lot more common than morphine, and I don't know that hydrocodone is a medic drug - could be wrong, though.

          And yep, EMT's ask about pain rating. It's in the manual - S is part of OPQRST. Because once in awhile people answer honestly. And once in awhile people try to be

          You can shut all of it down.... but social services have only been gutted worse than the 80s as well. Maybe if we paid attention to the social dynamics of addiction and actually funded addiction treatment and other social programs to prevent such behaviors again, instead of just tossing people in jail, the problem would be better controlled.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 12 2018, @11:10PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @11:10PM (#636868) Journal

      Any Libertarians in the house who find themselves allied with these non-conservative Republicans should be speaking up.

      Why? What is this issue supposed to be relevant to any one who leans libertarian? We accept that we often agree on some principles of freedom with people or entities while disagreeing in other areas. And even terrible people deserve rights because otherwise it's too easy to take those rights from the rest of us.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Thexalon on Monday February 12 2018, @11:18PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday February 12 2018, @11:18PM (#636871) Homepage

      Despite the rhetoric from puritanical drug-warriors, the actual "gateway drug" to heroin isn't mild stuff like pot, or hallucinogens like LSD and mushrooms, it's prescription opioids. Which were sold under mostly fraudulent marketing that basically pretended they were safe and non-addictive.

      And heroin screws up otherwise decent peoples' lives, in a big way. It also screws up the lives of people around the addict, because the addict will do absolutely anything to get their fix. I don't think locking up users is the way to go about responding to that problem, but ignoring it doesn't seem wise, and private industry has so far not done what would be needed to fix or even substantially reduce the impacts.

      As for libertarian answers to this, I'd be perfectly fine with every family of somebody killed by an overdose joining in a class-action lawsuit, rather than government action. If you have problems with private citizens taking action to deal with malfeasance by somebody they did business with, then your objection isn't related to big government, but that you don't believe that false advertising counts as malfeasance.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @07:04PM (17 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @07:04PM (#636779)

    Part One: Don't let Big Pharma "market" drugs to Doctors.

    Part Two: Don't let Big Pharma market drugs to Consumers.

    A significant if not dominant part of the cost of some drugs is not the R&D but the marketing of that drug. Gee, remember when prescription drugs weren't marketed to consumers? I don't have a problem with consumers being able to research drugs and drug choices. Big Pharma could put them on their website, where they could be Googled, for example. I don't want new drugs being pushed into the face of the masses who suddenly think they need this drug for a problem that they didn't even realize they had.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday February 12 2018, @07:10PM (8 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday February 12 2018, @07:10PM (#636783)

      remember when prescription drugs weren't marketed to consumers?

      It has been a while - I remember in the 1990s listening to TV news at lunch time, and being constantly bombarded with direct-to-consumer marketing for all sorts of "new" "ask your doctor" drugs, I think a Herpes treatment was the big one, happy looking people kayaking through mountain streams, 3 times an hour for years.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @07:20PM (7 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @07:20PM (#636789)

        There can be only one.

        Introducing new KuewrZall®. It cures everything from the common cold to insomnia, ingrown toenails, left handedness, baldness, impotence, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, seizures, color blindness, internal hemorrhage, hearing loss, skin conditions.

        So try it today! Ask your doctor if KuewrZall® is right for you!

        Minor side effects may include:
        * vomiting
        * diarrhea
        * convulsions
        * seizures
        * baldness
        * color blindness
        * loss of fingernails and toenails
        * massive internal hemorrhage
        * total hearing loss
        * painful oozing boils and blisters on skin
        * bleeding from the eyes
        * shriveled up hands and feet
        * extreme weight loss
        * arms and legs eventually fall off
        * impotence
        * unconsciousness
        * death
        * zombification

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Monday February 12 2018, @07:52PM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday February 12 2018, @07:52PM (#636799)

          Introducing new KuewrZall®

          Any similarity to the name of the first immortal of the singularity Ray Kurzweil is entirely intentional.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @09:10PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @09:10PM (#636830)

            Intention was to have pronunciation similarity to "cures all".

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday February 12 2018, @07:56PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday February 12 2018, @07:56PM (#636801)

          My wife and I just about died laughing the first time we heard the side effects of Olestra, including "oily discharge..." who, exactly, would use a dietary supplement that causes "oily discharge" and more to the point, who would pour massive amounts of money into marketing such a thing?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olestra#Side_effects [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:06AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:06AM (#636975)

            My wife and I just about died laughing the first time we heard the side effects of Olestra, including "oily discharge..." who, exactly, would use a dietary supplement that causes "oily discharge" and more to the point, who would pour massive amounts of money into marketing such a thing?

            Where's the spamtastic "rancid rectum" guy? He'd love that, methinks.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @10:54PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @10:54PM (#637318)

            Don't forget Futurama's take on olestra [youtube.com]

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday February 12 2018, @08:04PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday February 12 2018, @08:04PM (#636804) Journal

          * zombification

          So you're saying this medication will make me immortal?

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Monday February 12 2018, @08:34PM

            by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday February 12 2018, @08:34PM (#636816)

            This drug will make you healthy for the rest of your life.

            Technically.

            --
            "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Monday February 12 2018, @07:27PM (3 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday February 12 2018, @07:27PM (#636791) Journal

      You make a good point about the ridiculous waste of drug advertising.

      Part 3 could be to legalize weed. [drugabuse.com]

      Researchers quickly noticed that the rates of fatal opioid overdoses were significantly lower in states that had legalized medical marijuana. In 2010 alone, states with legalized medical marijuana saw approximately 1,700 fewer opiate-related overdose deaths.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @07:40PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @07:40PM (#636794)

        So legalized medical marijuana leads to lower sales of highly profitable Big Pharma drugs!1

        The next danger is that once states realize the increased tax revenue, and the fact that people don't seem to be harmed by medical marijuana2, this will lead to recreational marijuana.

        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

        1but increased sales of snack foods

        2obviously they did not see Reefer Madness, nor several episodes of Dragnet in the 1960s

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:26PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:26PM (#636814)

          I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I am for the legalization of weed for the same reason I don't intend to use it, I feel that I should be in control of what I do with my body.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday February 12 2018, @09:16PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @09:16PM (#636833)

            Yep. Same here. I'm for legalization. I don't plan to use it any. Or possibly only in small amounts. I just think I should have the option.

            Amusing thing. I vacationed on Colorado last June. Visited a dispensary with friends. A box of 8 chocolates was like $30 or something. A bottle of 30 hydrocodone is like $5 and turns out to be much more effective at actual pain relief, based on my testing of the chocolates. So what's with this "all natural" stuff?

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @09:43PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @09:43PM (#636842)

      IIRC what allowed drug companies to market to doctors and patients/prospective patients was the freedom of speech. I can't remember if the case reached SCOTUS or not, but a restriction of that magnitude may need an amendment.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday February 13 2018, @02:17PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13 2018, @02:17PM (#637110)

        OK. How about a framework like this for Big Pharma:
        * CAN market to doctors
        * can NOT give kickbacks, inducements, paid vacations, etc to doctors, but CAN give free samples of drug
        * can NOT market to consumers
        * CAN put all your drug information and promotional material on your web site where anyone (doctors, patients, etc) can google it
        * MUST prominently include all side effects, information on efficacy, etc.

    • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:31AM

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:31AM (#636903)

      I live in the only other country in the civilised world that allows TV ads for drugs, and it's awful.

      In fact various drug companies have been prosecuted for making all sorts of outrageous claims about their drugs, in particular pain killing drugs that were supposed to work on specific types of pain, but were really just expensive paracetamol.

      Bastards.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:37AM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:37AM (#636904) Homepage

      I asked my sister, who's a doctor, about this phenomenon, and she said that the doctors in general weren't against the marketing to consumers. The main reason for that is that it meant that patients would come in and report the symptoms they were having, and that gave the doctor a chance to actually diagnose a problem that might have been otherwise ignored.

      The problem in the case of these pills was not that they were marketed, but that they were marketed with fraudulent and misleading claims to boost sales.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
  • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Monday February 12 2018, @10:52PM (1 child)

    by stretch611 (6199) on Monday February 12 2018, @10:52PM (#636861)

    They are stopping marketing to doctors... How is this going to help now?!?

    Already a large portion of the population is addicted to opioids. Stopping marketing will not stop their desire/need for more.

    Opioids are already the first thought of many doctors when it comes to painkillers, whether the patients need it or not. It will be years if not decades before opioids are not the first thought of Doctors regardless of marketing... Unless something better that isn't addictive comes along. And with every drug company making a boatload of cash from opioids, who will be willing to develop a replacement?

    I was in the hospital last year. I have a very high pain tolerance, and despite surgery I was fine. One day about a week after surgery I asked a nurse for an ibuprofen (advil/motrin) and I was told I could not have it for fear of stomach bleeding. They said that tylenol (acetaminophen) was an acceptable alternative, but they could not give that to me because they Dr did not approve it for me and it would be a day before they could put it on my approved list. However, for "mild" pain, the Dr already pre-approved me for Norflex, and I was also allowed Oxycodone, and all the way up to straight Morphine if I wanted it... WTF!!! I was pre-approved for major opioids, but was not able to get a simple ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

    Then, when I was finally discharged, I had to stop by the hospital pharmacy to get drugs related to my condition. In addition, they had not one, but two opioid prescriptions waiting for me for.. despite having norflex only one time during my stay of a few weeks, and really only wanting/requesting a simple ibuprofen. (OFC, I refused them.)

    So I ask again, how the hell is the lack of marketing going to change anything? They already have people addicted to their shit... they pay off congress to keep the laws in their favor and keep marijuana illegal, (and yes if you look at the major contributors to politicians against legalization, big pharma is the number one contributor) and they already have the Dr's trained to respond with how big of an opioid do you want for your sprained pinky... Big pharma already has us exactly where they want us. Lack of marketing doesn't matter anymore.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:17AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13 2018, @12:17AM (#636898) Journal
      It means however the market will be more competitive with more providers of opoids. At least those peoples' addictions will be cheaper.
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