Florida’s PDMP, E-Forcse has been in operation for @3 years.
Only 12% physicians are voluntarily complying.
Florida, particularly Broward County,
is the epicenter of this now national opioid epidemic.
Stop The Organized Pill Pushers Now
Stoppnow was invited to speak at the Statewide DEA workshop held November 5th 2014. We are very grateful to the role DEA and Law Enforcement has played to eradicate the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that our country is plagued by. We were pleased to be invited to spend the afternoon with the Diversion Agents and share our experience with the tragedy and suffering of so many in our communities. We appreciate all that they and law enforcement are contributing. Sherrif Lamberti once said that we can’t arrest our way out of this; but quite often that seems to be the case.
We have requested a meeting with the Florida Surgeon General, John Armstrong and look forward to addressing a solution to the backlog of high prescribing doctors. They are not being brought before the Board of Medicine in a timely manner and continue to be licensed and prescribing and causing deaths.
May 8, 2012
John H. Stewart
President and Chief Executive Officer Purdue Pharma L.P.
One Stamford Forum 201 Tresser Boulevard
Stamford, Connecticut 06901-3431
Dear Mr. Stewart:
As Chairman and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, we have a responsibility to the more than 100 million Americans who receive health care under Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. As part of that responsibility, this Committee has investigated the marketing practices of pharmaceutical and medical device companies as well as their relationships with physicians and non-profit medical organizations.
It is clear that the United States is suffering from an epidemic of accidental deaths and addiction resulting from the increased sale and use of powerful narcotic painkillers. According to CDC data, “more than 40% (14,800)” of the “36,500 drug poisoning deaths in 2008” were related to opioid-based prescription painkillers.1 Deaths from these drugs rose more rapidly, “from about 4,000 to 14,800” between 1999 and 2008, than any other class of drugs,2 killing more people than heroin and cocaine combined.3 More people in the United States now die from drugs than car accidents as a result of this new epidemic.4 Additionally, the CDC reports that improper “use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs.”5
In Montana, prescription drug abuse is characterized by the state’s Department of Justice
as an “invisible epidemic” killing at least 300 people per year and contributing to increases in addiction and crime.6 According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today, a “network of national organizations and researchers with financial connections to the makers of narcotic painkillers helped create a body of dubious information” favoring opioids “that can be found in prescribing guidelines, patient literature, position statements, books and doctor education courses.”13 For example, the Sentinel
reported that the Federation of State Medical Boards, with financial support from opioid manufacturers, distributed more than 160,000 copies of a model policy book that drew criticism from doctors because “it failed to point out the lack of science
supporting the use of opioids for chronic, non cancer pain.”14
In a ProPublica story published in the Washington Post, the watchdog organization examined the American Pain Foundation, a “health advocacy” organization that received “nearly 90 percent of its $5 million funding from the drug and medical device industry.” 15 ProPublica wrote that its review of the American Pain Foundation’s “guides for patients, journalists, and policymakers play down the risks associated with opioids and exaggerate their benefits. Some of the foundation’s
materials on the drugs include statements that are misleading or based on scant or disputed research.”16
In 2003, a GAO report pointed to Purdue’s partnership with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) as possible means for Purdue to have “facilitated its access to hospitals to promote OxyContin.”17 The report revealed that Purdue “funded over 20,000 pain-related educational programs through direct sponsorship or financial grants” in addition to
funding the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s (JCAHO) pain management programs.18
Although it is critical that patients continue to have access to opioids to treat serious pain, pharmaceutical companies and health care organizations must distribute accurate information about these drugs in order to prevent improper use and diversion to drug abusers.
As part of our effort to understand the relationship between opioid manufacturers and non-profit health care organizations, please provide the following information:
1) Provide a detailed account of all payments from 1997 to the present between Purdue and the following organizations in table format:
i. The American Pain Foundation
ii. The American Academy of Pain Medicine
iii. The American Pain Society
iv. The American Geriatric Society
v. The Wisconsin Pain and Policy Study Group
vi. The Alliance of State Pain Initiatives
vii. The Center for Practical Bioethics
viii. Beth Israel Medical Center, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care
ix. The Joint Commission (and all related entities)
x. The Federation of State Medical Boards
i. Russell K. Portenoy, M.D. – Chairman, Department of Pain Medicine And Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center
ii. Scott M. Fishman, M.D. – Chief, Department of Pain Medicine, University of California, Davis
iii. Perry G. Fine, M.D. – Professor of Anesthesiology, Pain Research Center, University of Utah School of Medicine
iv. Lynn R. Webster, M.D., F.A.C.P.M., F.A.S.A.M. – Medical Director and Founder, Lifetree Clinical Research & Pain Clinic
v. Rollin M. Gallagher, M.D., M.P.H. – Director of Pain Management, Philadelphia Veteran Affairs Medical Center
vi. Bill McCarber, M.D. – Founder of the Chronic Pain Management Program for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA
vii. Martin Grabois, M.D. – President, American Academy of Pain Medicine
viii. Myra Christopher – Kathleen M. Foley Chair for Pain and Palliative Care, Center for Practical Bioethics
c. For each organization or individual identified in 1(a) and 1(b), provide:
i. Date of payment.
ii. Payment description (CME, royalty, honorarium, research support, etc.).
iii. Amount of payment.
iv. Year-end or year-to-date payment total and cumulative total payments for each organization or
2) All documents and communications from 2004 to the present pertaining to the book, “Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Physician’s Guide,” distributed by the Federation of State Medical Boards.
a. Provide the names, titles, and job descriptions of all employees who collaborated with the Federation of State Medical Boards, Dr. Scott Fishman, or third-party contractors on the development of this book.
b. For each employee identified in 2(a), provide a summary of the work performed pertaining to the book.
3) All documents and communications from 2007 to the present pertaining to the development or changes to JCAHO’s19 pain management standards, including but not limited to communications with the American Pain Society and other organizations involved in developing JCAHO pain management standards.
4) All documents and communications from 2007 to the present pertaining to the development or changes to The American Pain Society’s pain guidelines.
5) All documents and communications from 2004 to the present pertaining to theAmerican Pain Foundation’s Military/Veterans Pain Initiative.
6) All documents and communications from 2007 to the present pertaining to any policies, guidelines, press releases and/or position papers distributed by the American Pain Foundation.
7) All presentations, reports, and communications to Purdue’s management team or board of directors from 2007 to the present pertaining to the funding of and/or collaborations with of any of the organizations or individuals specified in request 1(a) or 1(b).
In cooperating with the Committee’s review, no documents, records, data, or other information related to these matters, either directly or indirectly, shall be destroyed, modified, removed, or otherwise made inaccessible to the Committee.
We look forward to hearing from you by no later than June 8, 2012. All documents responsive to this request should be sent electronically, on a disc, in searchable PDF format to my staff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Christopher Law with Senator Baucus at (202) 224-4515 or Erika Smith with Senator Grassley at (202) 224-5225.
Charles E. Grassley Max Baucus Senator