NORMAN J CLEMENT RPH., DDS, NORMAN L.CLEMENT PHARM-TECH, MALACHI F. MACKANDAL PHARMD, BELINDA BROWN-PARKER, IN THE SPIRIT OF JOSEPH SOLVO ESQ., IN THE SPIRIT OF REV. C.T. VIVIAN, JELANI ZIMBABWE CLEMENT, BS., MBA., WILLIE GUINYARD BS., JOSEPH WEBSTER MD., MBA, BEVERLY C. PRINCE MD., FACS., LEROY BAYLOR, JAY K. JOSHI MD., MBA, ADRIENNE EDMUNDSON, ESTER HYATT PH.D., WALTER L. SMITH BS., IN THE SPIRIT OF BRAHM FISHER ESQ., MICHELE ALEXANDER MD., CUDJOE WILDING BS, MARTIN NDJOU, BS., RPH., IN THE SPIRIT OF DEBRA LYNN SHEPHERD, BERES E. MUSCHETT, STRATEGIC ADVISORS
Jeff Singer MD__
“Follow the science” is good advice for lawmakers, but in so many contexts where dominant scientific views change, it should mean lawmakers intervene less often.”
WAGING A WAR OF AGGRESSION ON MEDICAL SCIENCE
Jeff Singer MD writes:
Ever since the start of the COVID pandemic, public health officials, politicians, and policymakers have pledged to “follow the science.” This devotion to scientific evidence is apparently something new. Ever since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—the United States, 2016, federal and state agencies, governors, and state legislatures have etched into policy what the CDC explicitly stated was not “settled science,” but what we’re meant to be general rules of thumb to aid practitioners, and would be:
Most of the CDC guidelines were based on “type 4 evidence,” which the CDC defined as, “clinical experience and observations, observational studies with important limitations, or randomized clinical trials with several major limitations.”
Research from the University of Pittsburgh shows that the overdose rate has been following a steady exponential growth curve since at least the late 1970s—well before the invention of OxyContin in 1996—with no signs of slowing. The only changes over the years relate to the particular drugs in vogue.
Yet policymakers squeeze doctors and their patients in pain while non-medical users of drugs in the black market have long ago moved on to more readily available and dangerous drugs like illicit fentanyl.
This has always been a drug prohibition crisis—not an opioid crisis. The attorneys general can claim a few scalps from the pharma industry, but until we end the war on drugs nothing else will change.
“Have you seen this website, family? A brilliant & caring group of doctors & pharmacists are standing with us to say NO MORE when it comes to torturing #PainPatients & any patient weathering severe pain.”
WHAT THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY’S CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURES DEMONSTRATES
The Federalist Society’s forum on Opioids in 2021 demonstrates how following the science and facts of the literature undermines the misguided misinformation on Opioid medications. Dr. Singer’s presentation is succinct in addressing disease states and identifies specific types of medically prescribed “opioids” based on the clinical treatment of addiction disorders.
Both former United States Attorney Generals Robert M. Duncan, and Christine E. Nolan demonstrate a failed law enforcement approach to treating the diseases of addiction. Observe both their reactions in the video when they’re confronted by the science and facts from Dr. Jeff Singer; their quackery protocols are instantaneous.
On the other hand, Professor Tomas Phillips’ (the economists) presentation amounted to intellectual masturbation and junk science however surprisingly he did come around to the facts of medical science somewhat. Unfortunately, for medical science, it is people like Professor Philips who sit on boards and panels who design drug policies and legislations.
Jeff Singer MD States:
As I have written before, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show no correlation between the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors and the non-medical use of opioids or opioid use disorder.
And Drs. Nora Volkow and Thomas McLlellan of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse pointed out in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2016 that, “Unlike tolerance and physical dependence, addiction is not a predictable result of opioid prescribing. Addiction occurs in only a small percentage of persons who are exposed to opioids — even among those with preexisting vulnerabilities.”
Jay K. Joshi MD., MBA:
“The misguided emphasis on purported red flags conflates an elemental analysis with an essential analysis, allowing individual actions, taken out of context, to constitute the full understanding of the term, “prescribing outside of the scope of professional practice”, without incorporating the full context of clinical behavior – a logical fallacy that has allowed certain individuals to pass investigational fraud as inductive legal arguments, and to retroactively redefine interpretations of hopelessly vague statutes.”
OPIOID CRISIS IS A CRISIS OF MIS-INFORMATION
Policymakers and the press continue to confuse chemical dependency with addiction. They are two completely different things.
The prime motivation of the DEA appears to be the false assumption that any prescribed opioid pain medication can worsen the “opioid crisis” that we now know is caused predominantly by illegal flooding of illicit Chinese fentanyl and heroin overdose deaths. A review of statistical trends shows that this “crisis” has been present since 1970 and that the trajectory of overdose deaths was well established in numerous studies and was not affected by the entry of novel medications like OxyContin.
That hasn’t stopped policymakers from codifying guidelines based on such weak evidence, effectively casting in stone what are now five-year-old suggestions. In other words, they weren’t following the science.
Lawmakers must understand that the DEA regulates the entire legal opioid market and that if prescription opioids were fueling the crisis then the government themselves would be liable and responsible for the increase in overdose deaths. Although prescribing of opiates has decreased in the past few years there has been a vast acceleration of overdoses proving that prescription opiates do not have a causal effect on overdoses.
Lawmakers also ignore the costs of all alternative therapies. The high costs of physical therapy, topical medications, hypnosis, massage therapy, and behavioral modification, prohibits patients from engaging in these therapies. Nothing is free and there is always a cost and thus many of the 8 million US citizens who currently benefit from opiate therapy cannot work or engage in a meaningful life.
A New Proposal to Begin the End of the Drug War
Host of the Cato Daily Podcast
The Drug War marks its 50th year this year. That’s five decades too long. Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey has a few ideas about how to jumpstart the process.
FOR NOW, YOU ARE WITHIN