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01/27/12

In response to:

“Please also investigate your sources, such as PROP. The president has a history with Reckitt Benckiser, maker of suboxone”…

PROP (Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing) does not have any relationships with any pharmaceutical companies.

It is true that I have worked on expanding access to opioid addiction treatment, especially buprenorphine (suboxone) but I do not have a relationship with Reckitt.

I’m not offended by the question. On the contrary, whenever one hears a doctor, professional organization, or a “patient advocacy” group (i.e. the American Pain Foundation) speaks out in favor of a drug or class of drugs, this is exactly the question that should be asked.

Had the public and the medical community been asking these questions 15 years ago, it’s very possible that the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths and addiction might have been avoided.

I would suggest two resources that can be used to identify financial relationships between drug makers and doctors. Keep in mind that each of these databases has its limits… so it’s possible for a doctor to have significant financial relationships that don’t appear.

http://www.pharmafiles.net/index.php?view=group

http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

Try plugging in the names of the doctors who argue that opioids are not addictive and the doctors that have attacked Washington State or the CDC for their efforts to address over-prescribing of opioids. You are likely to find that they receive payments from companies that make opioids.

And here’s an excellent recent article from the Washington Post/ProPublica about the American Pain Foundation, the group that’s been leading the fight against the Washington State effort:

http://www.propublica.org/article/the-champion-of-painkillers/single

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