On Saturday, October 12, 2019, I was on the Campus of Florida A&M University celebrating the homegoing of one of the greatest professors of Pharmacy known throughout the world, Leonard Inge.
Leonard Inge, a simple poor kid, youngest of 13 siblings, from Pritchard Al., served as President of The National Pharmacist Association, 12 years Florida Board of Pharmacy, 34 years Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy (and I could go on and on never complete this discussion) where his specialty was teaching Pharmacy Law and Compounding.
I was fortunate to be trained by one of the greatest professors of Pharmacy and I’ve been practicing pharmacy the same way, using the same concepts, methodology, procedures, and techniques in Pharmaceutical Compounding as taught at Florida A&M University for over 45 years. Our continuing education on Compounding Pharmaceuticals (from various sources) mirrors that which was taught at Florida A&M by Leonard Inge and other professors.
So I asked myself what has changed? The answer points to one very questionable and dangerous practice, LAW ENFORCEMENT has intruded into defining medical procedures and protocols. We see this in the so-called Opioid Crisis, the idea that Narcotic Analgesic Medications (NAM) cannot be used for chronic pain is simply not true and misleading.
Further, the thought that these medications are not to be used in combination with other medications such as those used to relieve anxiety ( benzodiazepines), mood disorders, or sleep is in error.
Narcotic Analgesic Medications (NAM) when prescribed and used for long-term chronic pain, will result in dependency. Therefore, it then becomes the role of the Pharmacist to inform the patient who is being treated for chronic pain on how to use this class of medications correctly to ensure their safety.
OXYCODONE BECOMES DANGEROUS WHEN USED DANGEROUSLY
For example, Oxycodone is a very effective medication for treating chronic pain when used and taken at a therapeutic dose. Oxycodone is effective against most chronic pain generated from the central nervous system. However, as with any medication used to treat a chronic condition to sustain life, the patient may become permanently dependent on these classes of medication for the rest of their life.
These medications are safe when used correctly, and like all medications controlled or noncontrolled, when taken beyond their therapeutic dosages are dangerous and may result in death. The literature clearly shows death due to drug toxicity will likely occur when prescription narcotic analgesic medications are taken beyond their therapeutic amounts or commitment use with alcohol or other substances.
To date, except in the case of extreme anaphylaxis, there is no case within the literature where individuals have succumbed to death when given a therapeutic dose of a medically prescribed Narcotic Analgesic Medication (NAM).
THE DEA AND UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE GONE ROGUE
There is a disturbing trend within the medical/pharmaceutical community wherein medical practitioners are targeted. Law enforcement agencies have conducted raids and arrested medical personnel for dispensing legally prescribed medications to the community.
The DEA has become a rogue agency that must be disbanded. It is the single most heinous governmental agency whose tactics have led to the increased cost of medications and healthcare across America, by misinterpreting the purpose and roles of medications needed to treat acute, chronic, neuropathic, and psychological pain.
They have waged a campaign of misinformation to persuade the public that these medications are dangerous drugs whose dosages are “RED FLAGS” indicating abuse and trafficking, which contributes to the so-called opioid crisis in America.
The DEA has become a rogue agency that has lost its mission, using threats and intimidation such as;
1. Tactics of no-knock raids and arrest,
3. Threat of prison time
These agents lacking in both knowledge and understanding of Opioid Pain receptors, come armed with “BADGES, GUNS AND PROFOUND STUPIDITY.” They impose their will onto the medical profession (nurses, pharmacists, physicians, dentists, and especially drug wholesalers) and their patients.
DEA’S RED FLAGS OF DISTORTION
“stigmatizes the disease state and traumatizes the afflicted”
When, returning to the United States from Johannesburg on Air France flying to Paris, and I came across TED.com lectures and specifically with the lecture of a Ghanan Professor Sangu Delle concerning the view of mental health in many African countries, in which he says;
“…when it comes to mental illness our ignorance eviscerates our empathy,…… we stigmatize the disease and traumatize the afflicted……”
Professor Delle elaborated, according to a study done by Arboleda-Flores when directly asking people about the causes of mental illness the result was staggeringly sad;
4. 34% sited drug mis-used
5. 19% Divine raft of the will of God
6. 12% cited witchcraft and spiritual possession
Professor Delle summarizes mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and our social well-being. Most people simply ignore or fail to understand the causes of mental illness, which include genetics, social-economic status, war, and conflict, or the loss of a loved one.
The DEA uses malicious law enforcement tactics to seek greater power and authority in which they “stigmatize the disease state and traumatize the afflicted.” These tactics are the RED FLAGS OF MEDICAL REDLINING, targeted toward licensed professional people of color and the patients in their care. Patients who pay by cash, credit, or debit card do so because they are either uninsured or their pharmacy does not accept insurance. They become “RED Flagged” and deemed abusers and criminals by the DEA.
These tactics also include patients who have been profiled by other Pharmacists of large pharmacy chains, who often tell patients of color, “I feel uncomfortable filling your prescription,” particularly pain medications. These patients often report Pharmacist even questioning their need to take these medications, as well as recommending over-the-counter pain meds.
Absent, throughout these encounters is the failure of the pharmacist to discuss disease state or conduct a physical exam of the patient, order radiographs, blood work, review the entire patient’s medical and medication profile, which they are not licensed to do. Therefore, to recommend that the patient use over-the-counter pain meds or refuse to fill their prescription for pain meds is blatantly biased.
The patient is then forced to travel long distances to find a pharmacy that will treat them fairly, with dignity and respect. However, this results in both the Pharmacist and pharmacies that fill their prescriptions becoming DEA’s RedFlag targets, as well as the patient.
Thus, in this so-called Opioid Crisis or War on Drugs, we must begin to ask, are these the tactics of THE DEA RED FLAG of RACISM, or even more succinctly, THE DEA RED FLAG OF JIM CROW, in which the disease state is stigmatized and the afflicted become traumatized.
IN THE SPIRIT OF SANKOFA
YOU’RE WITHIN THE NORMS