STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
HARVARD INVESTIGATION SHOWS DOCTORS ARE PAID HUGE SUMS TO PRESCRIBE ADDICTIVE OPIOIDS
By Phillip Schneider - March 17, 2018

Waking Times

In 2010, it was found that roughly 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs alone. When it comes to opioids, the number of deaths is in the tens of thousands while a quarter of patients who were given a short-term prescription transitioned to long-term use.

Now, according to a recent Harvard University analysis, doctors who prescribe these pain-killers are being paid huge sums of money from their manufacturers.

The research, which was conducted by Harvard scientists and CNN, discovered that in 2014-2015 thousands of doctors were paid over $25,000 from opioid manufacturers and hundreds more were rewarded with six-figure sums. Also, the more opioids that were prescribed, the larger the reward.

“It smells like doctors are being bribed to sell narcotics, and that’s very disturbing.” – Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing

The Harvard/CNN analysis found that the 5% doctors who prescribed opioids at a volume which was higher than that of the average physician were paid twice as much money from manufacturers. Likewise, doctors in the top 1% were paid four times as much.

For the top 10th of 1 percent, that number increased nine-fold. To put this in perspective, roughly 54% of doctors who wrote prescriptions to Medicare patients, which numbers more than 200,000, received payment from pharma companies which manufacture opioids.

“The correlation you found in very powerful…What’s amazing about the findings is not simply that money counts, but that more money counts even more.” – David Rothman, director of the Center on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

It is not legal for doctors to prescribe drugs in exchange for compensation from the drug companies, and it is also not provable that most of these doctors were paid in reward for prescribing opioids or if the prescription of opioids attracted the money from pharmaceutical companies.

However, there is nevertheless a clear financial incentive for doctors to continue to prescribe opioids, even when it isn’t in the best interest of the patient.

“It’s not proof positive, but it’s another very significant data point in the growing evidence base that marketing payments from drug companies are not good for medicine and more good for patient care.” – Dr. Daniel Carlat, former director of the Prescription Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts

The effects of opioid addiction can be extremely damaging. One patient who was prescribed a mega powerful opioid (50-100 times more powerful than morphine) known as Subsys claims that the drug placed her in a “zombie-like” state, where she would sometimes wake up on the front lawn or kitchen floor in need of more else she would experience uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea.

When eventually asked to switch medications away from opioids, her doctor became belligerent, she claims.

“He said it was Subsys or nothing…I trusted my doctor as you trust the police officer that’s directing traffic when the light is out.” – Angela Contone

A number of patients have filed lawsuits against their doctors for prescribing opioids for the indented purpose of receiving payments and kickbacks, against the interest of the patient.

Carey Ballou, a patient who was prescribed opioids, recalls her doctor bragging about being flown across the country to lecture other doctors, all paid for by drug companies.

“He said he was going to Miami, and they were going to give him a convertible, and he was going to stay in the best hotel and eat the best Cuban food he’d ever had.” – Carey Ballou

Carey has since filed a lawsuit against Dr. Steven Simon, who was paid over 1 million dollars by opioid companies according to the federal Open Payments database.

As more patients become aware of the way doctors prescribe opioids and to their effects, the number of patients who become addicted, or worse, will inevitably drop.

“This is the first time we’ve seen this, and it’s really important.” – Dr. Andrew Kolodny


 

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Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • The widespread belief and trust in authority is amazing. Government schools have done a superb job.

    • You have pointed out the real problem with living in a supposed democracy. It is actually just herd mentality and a control mechanisms, simple as that. USA was founded as a republic and has morphed into a supposed democracy, but it is now closer to communism or socialism than either !

    • SnakePlissken

      Government schools are indoctrination centers based on the Prussian/Soviet system to churn out generations of obedient slaves. Ref: “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”.

    • newznut

      It’s called Wall Streets greed that call the shots.

  • Marten

    Big Pharma pays these “Parasites” to screw the people…And a Population drugged to the gills is passive

  • Praetor

    It has been well known that Doctors are the biggest drug pushers in the United States. Its gone world wide now. Many Doctors are serial killers and should be imprisoned as such. You go to a Doctor now, you will end-up a drug addict. Taking opium for you’re pain.!!!

    • Joelg

      Opium would be an improvement. Was in ER and nurse said we will give you whatever pain-killer you want, and I said opium. But then she no, not that, none of that natural stuff. I took a pass, as meditation boosts natural endorphin pain-killers in brain, though not as fast (and people demand instant relief, which is the crux of the problem). Whole training of medical profession to be drug-pushers for pharma is the real problem. And for all that training they are deep in student debt, and you can see the result. Would be cheaper to society to give them free medical degree in non-pharma practices.

    • SnakePlissken

      Ban doctors! Do it for the children!

  • So it takes the supposed Harvard smart guys to reach this conclusion that has been beyond obvious for years ? Pathetic !

    http://www.downtoearththinking.com/health-a-simple-approach-to-overall-well-being-.html

    • retired22

      What puzzles me about this report is,how did they come up with the financial figures?
      How did they get the income figures which are confidential & not supposed to be available to the public.

  • Joelg

    These are phony numbers, more fake news from CNN, according to Reports From the CDC: MMWR (link & quotes below). If 1 person has heroin, fentanyl and methadone in the bloodstream, they are counted as 3 deaths, once per category. Even with double and triple counting, total number of drug deaths is 47k, less than half the 100,000 scare number cited in article. Furthermore, “illicitly manufactured” cannot be distinguished from prescription drugs, which are the subject of all the controls and lawsuits by state attorney generals hungry to exploit this to gain power, higher office, etc. If they really cared about pain relief, they would be funding alternatives like acupuncture, etc. But the idea is to replace the loss of medical marijuana enforcement with a new bugaboo to make sure the War on Drugs continues ad infinitum with no losses in law enforcement funding.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ajt.13776

    “During 2014, a total of 47 055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, representing a 1‐year increase of 6.5%…Historically, CDC has programmatically characterized all opioid pain reliever deaths (natural and semisynthetic opioids, methadone, and other synthetic opioids) as “prescription” opioid overdoses…The sharp increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids, other than methadone, in 2014 coincided with law enforcement reports of increased availability of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid; however, illicitly manufactured fentanyl cannot be distinguished from prescription fentanyl in death certificate data…reduce the supply of illicit opioids, particularly heroin and illicit fentanyl…Some deaths involve more than one type of opioid; these deaths were included in the rates for each category (e.g. a death involving both a synthetic opioid and heroin would be included in the rates for synthetic opioid deaths and in the rates for heroin deaths).

    • Varangian Guard

      In the hood they are cutting the heroine with fentanyl and carfentanyl to bulk or stretch the batch.

      The hood rats are not exactly compounders so they often don’t have a homogeneous product. The pachyderm intended carfentanyl takes mere grains to cause death in humans.

      • Joelg

        If the user ODs, CDC will register heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl in the bloodstream as 3 deaths (3 opioid categories) in their reporting system. In other words, the 1 death is recorded as 3 opioid prescription deaths in the CDC system. Neither the media nor politicians care to understand this, perhaps out of self-interest, as declaring a crisis is the road to riches. For this reason, there will never be a focus on pain relief aside from synthetic drugs.

        State attorney generals will go after the easy money (big pharma), not the elephant drug. Furthermore, busting a doctor is a path to higher office (ala Chris Christie & FBI/terrorists). If idiots want to suicide on these drugs, nothing will stop them, not even the death penalty. I have a relative in their 90s legally using the fentanyl patch, and if they die a natural death and the bloodstream is analyzed the CDC will report the natural death as opioid prescription death. Just an artifact of the human-designed reporting system. There is zero incentive for the media to understand and report this correctly, and it is not in the self-interests of politicians to know. The higher the CDC numbers, which are multiplied by 3 in the media, all the better to declare a crisis and beef up drug enforcement budgets. A great racket.

  • SnakePlissken

    Am I the only one that thinks it is an extraordinary coincidence that we have an opioid/heroin epidemic in the US about 10 yrs after we invaded the country that produces 90% of the world’s opium?

    • gary2505Texas

      And is it a coincidence that our policy is now to have Kabul to negotiate with the Taliban for peace ensuring continued opium production?

    • Varangian Guard

      Not a coincidence, history repeating itself. Poppies were grown and opioids produced were coming from Asia long before the Middle East. Vietnam was another war that was funded by dope

    • retired22

      Do you mean to say there is a 2nd source of revenue out there besides the various Military Industrial Complexes from the Industrialized world?

    • Joelg

      From what I’ve heard, Afghan opium is essential to the CIA’s black ops budget (off the record, not needing Congressional funding). No doubt a major reason Obama and now Trump keep the Afghan occupation going.

  • Varangian Guard

    Why would Doctor’s getting paid exorbitant amounts of money be a revelation?

    Schedule any appoint no matter how far in advance at the docs, and you wait for a half hour minimum. During that half hour you will see at least two drug salespeople walk up to the window and be given access to the doc immediately.

    When you finally get to the exam room you are seen by an assistant, a PA, a RN or LPN but rarely the doc if you are at least a moderately healthy individual. The doc pushes paying customers who come for maintenance, script refills, or simple illnesses off on to the staff.

    However it ALL costs the same. There’s bank in them thar hills of poppies.

    • retired22

      A very bad part of this is that if you are given an appointment at a designated time,you share that time slot with 3 other patients.This makes a 1/2 hour wait into a 1 1/2 hour wait!
      But there is more,…while you sit down to wait 1 1/2 hours,all the chairs are facing a T.V. on the wall & the T.V. is playing CNN or NBC daytime shows.
      Talk about mental torture!

  • retired22

    All of this also impacts on the gun issue,claims that guns are the main reason for massacres in schools.
    A bigger factor may be the mental condition of the murderers.

    Already mentally unbalanced,
    the crap the M.D.’s are prescribing for them may push them over the edge & into a violent fit of insanity!

  • retired22

    People should read the paper put out by the Mises Institute,
    ‘100 years of US medical fascism’

  • NobodysaysBOO

    VERY nasty PHOTO!!!!
    EVERYONE knows the Doctors are ALL HINDUES here NOW!!!
    never ever listen to or believe any BROWN PEOPLE in WHITE lab coats they are NOT REAL !!! THEY LIE for CASH!!

    • r2bzjudge

      A wasted opportunity to add to the discussion of a serious subject.

  • John Bull

    Before the 1970’s doctors pushed amphetamines for diet and for that extra pep during the day and then prescribed barbiturates to help one sleep at night. Tranquilizers were common as well. People do drugs this is nothing new, be it coffee, booze or dope people do drugs and our medical industry has no ethics–we have always know this, so why is this news.

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