SINCE WHEN HAS IT BECOME THE JOB OR THE ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT (DEA) TO DICTATE AND RE-DEFINE MEDICAL PROCEDURES and PROTOCOLS: “A REFLECTION” by Norman J. Clement RPh.,DDS and Jack Folson RPh, Clinical Pharmacist

A REFLECTION

On Saturday, October 12, 2019, I was on the Campus of Florida A&M University celebrating the home going 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 Opiod 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 are further 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  use of 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 generating from the central nervous system. However, as with any medication used to treat a chronic condition in order 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 non controlled, when taken beyond their therapeutic dosages are dangerous and may result in death. Literature clearly shows death due to drug toxicity will likely occur when prescription narcotic analgesic medications  are taken beyond their therapeutic amounts or commitant  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 mis-interpreting 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 Opiod crisis in America.

The DEA has  become a rogue agency  that has lost their mission, using threats and intimidation such as; 

1. Tactics of no-knock raids and  arrest,

2. Forfeiture,

3. Threat of prison time 

These agents lacking in both knowledge and understanding  of Opiod 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 in a study done by Arboleda-Flores, when directly  asking people about the causes of mental illness the result were staggeringly sad;

  4. 34% sited drug mis-used

  5. 19% Divine raft of will of God

  6. 12% sited  witch craft 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 causes of mental illness, which include, genetics, social economic status, war and conflict, or the loss of a love one. 

The DEA uses malicious law enforcement tactics in order 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 RED LINING, 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 except insurance. They become  “RED Flagged” and deemed abusers and criminals by the DEA.  

Theses tactics also include patients who have been profiled by other Pharmacist 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.  

STIGMATIZED THE DISEASE AND TRAUMATIZE THE AFFLICTED

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 licenses to do. Therefore, to recommend that the patient use over-the counter pain meds or refusing 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 fills 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

FOR NOW

YOU’RE WITHIN THE NORMS

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