Pain advocacy group shuts doors amid Senate probe

A U.S. Senate investigation into financial ties between producers of prescription painkillers and organizations that champion such drugs was announced Tuesday, just after the American Pain Foundation, the nation’s largest organization for pain patients, said it would shut down. The group said in a statement on its website that its closure was due to “irreparable economic circumstances.”

APF – which received 90 percent of its $5 million in funding in 2010 from the drug and medical-device industry – came under fire in December over its ties to pharmaceutical companies.

The Senate investigation was launched amid concerns that doctors and consumers aren’t getting accurate information about the risks of powerful opiate painkillers. According to the New York Times, pharmaceutical companies that received notice of the probe include OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma; Endo Pharmaceuticals, which makes Percocet; and Johnson & Johnson, which markets Duragesic.

APF – which was also sent a letter – claims on its website that “misguided state and federal policies are impeding access to appropriate and reasonable medical care for people struggling with pain, and deterring even the most compassionate medical providers from treating anyone with pain conditions.”

The University of Wisconsin’s Pain and Policy Group also received a letter. That group attracted criticism last year for allegedly receiving millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue, for pushing for the de-regulation of narcotic pain medicine.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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3 Responses to Pain advocacy group shuts doors amid Senate probe

  1. bennie jones says:

    The American Pain Foundation has published accurate opoid use information in brochures that explain their use accurately.
    They had medical personnel on staff and actively lobbied for pain patients which may have cause their demise.
    They provided pain journals, information for seeking a good Doctor and other alternatives to treat pain rather than just opoids.
    I liked them as they addressed pain in returning veterans. They gave contacts so that vets can get help. They discussed the WHO (World Health Organizations ) pain ladder and how to seek pain relief and resources to include many organizations.
    They endorsed being educated on your pain condition, resources in treating it.
    They had a crisis contact and strived endlessly for the pain patient and the importance of proper treatment, side effects of opoids (expecially respiratory depression) I saved their brochures to my desktop and glad I did. I believe in keeping a pain diary and functional assessment to make sure my medication therapy is appropriate to what I am diagnosed with.
    I am impressed with the work Erin has done and I want her to know I am a responsible pain patient (with thirty years of medical experience) and researched extensively for treatment options. I do physical therapy (myofascial)heat, topical pain cream, NSAIDS (which my Doctor and I decided to only do prn and have not taken for eight months) I follow an anti inflammatory diet, take supplements, practice imagery and cognitive behavior techniques which are endorsed by medical experts, I have taken biofeedback therapy, spent seven thousand dollars for a good spa, five thousand for a speciality mattress. I understand your cause and the information your receive is excellent but guess I cannot expect presenting the other side so to speak when your site is specifically for what you said. The answer is not a one answer but making sure all concerned, pain patients and addicts receive the utmost respect and compassion.
    I did not post to be argumentative either as I have worked in the medical side that treats drug seeking people and it requires patience, love, but the ability to take the steps that need to be taken when that little voice says there is a problem. As a Mother, I denied some issues my son had when I should have been more agressive and demanded (strong word) compliance of my son. Calling the Mental Health Officer to place him in a institution that could assist him or my Pastor avoiding family as the addict has a fear of judgement and will lie about everything and steal from you. This hurt me more than anything in a student I was advocate for and now eight years later he is a lost soul, losing his support system as people are fearful who he brings to family and friends. I have had my house broken into, car ransacked, and the neighbors car stolen while this student (who had graduated) waited to get in the Job Corp which I coordinated. I am sooooo sorry for your loss and I empathize as trying to intervene when the person is driven to seek drugs I use pain medication as medication not drugs. I read the medical inserts for side effects and contraindications. I believe the pharmacist plays a huge role in making sure the person getting their prescription is instructed and should have to sign their initials. Even though the warnings are on the bottle and insert, I believe the pharmacist should be able to say you can stop breathing and die if you take this wrong. I have to take opoids for pain relief, I get my labs checked and without it my blood pressures soars due to uncontrolled pain. I know uncontrolled pain can cause organ damage. I have found long term opoid therapy studies that are peer reviewed. The loss of the American Pain Foundation is sad as the education and resources they provided saved lives and helped pain patient to seek good choices. Their relationship with Pharmaceutical Companies does not bother me as I have read aricles and information related to alcohol education sponsored by liquor companies, Quit Smoking Resources sponsored (funded) by cigarette companies, Heart care and resources funded by Pharmaceutical Companies.
    I can bet the Physicians for this cause accept gifts from the Pharmaceutical Companies and in their career have attend medical seminars funded by these companies. Instead of them closing down, a more appropriate decision using the American Pain Foundation as a resource for providing the information you are presenting allowing a forum for a balanced and import information.
    What a waste and lost opportunity to educate a large community. Good Luck with your passion Erin, and I am sure your brother would be very proud of you for helping others. Thank You

  2. Tony says:

    Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 | Posted by Jim Fetzer
    Is the “War on Drugs” as phony as the “War on Terror”?
    Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on pinterest_shareMore Sharing Services
    123
    by Jim Fetzer

    The former Chief Psychiatrist for the FBI, Alen J. Salerian, M.D., of The Salerian Center for Neuroscience & Pain (formerly, The Washington Center for Psychiatry), in Washington, DC, has been blowing the whistle on false statistics being disseminated by the Center of Disease Control (CDC).
    These stats are being used to justify the “War on Drugs”, which criminal elements within the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) appear to be enforcing by conducting their own “War on Physicians” who are attempting to change the nation’s drug laws for the benefit of the people.”

    Read the story at this link: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/12/28/is-the-war-on-drugs-as-phony-as-the-war-on-terror/

    Various alphabet agencies of the federal government are the biggest drug dealers on the planet, which has been extensively documented for decades. People who are ill informed about the facts continue to try to limit patients’ rights to effective treatment of pain, which should not be done in a “free country” like the USA. Unfortunately, the USA is not a free country, its government is a marriage of state and corporate power, words that Benito Mussolini used to describe fascism.

    • paita says:

      This was all wrong for ALL chronic pain patient to lose this advicacy group..Thee A.P.F.. should of fought back!!!!They were in the right,,and if they fought back they had 4.5 million people behind them,,They should of fought back!!!!!PEOPLE ARE NOW DIEING because of the arrogance,incompetentcy,black hearts of our so-called ,”our” government..There DIEING because chronic pain patients are choosing ”SELF EUTHANIZATION’,,OR A GUN SHOOT TO NOW STOP THERE PHYSICAL PAIN!!!!This is ALLLLL Michelle Leonharts fault,,that so-called woman has NOT a clue what a day in the life of a chronic pain patient is like,,,the women is a EVIL IDIOT!!!!!!!Her poisen pen has KILLED far more people then it will ever save!!!!!!!!Pain patient,,honest true physical pain patients are now not able to get there needed medicine to make their physical pain bearable because of her arrogant IGNORANT unhumane stupidity abuse of power,,with her new regulations and her cruel tortureous mindest of demonizeing ALL handicapped people w/physical pain,,By her not allowing true physical pain patient access to there medicine she is committing an act of literal torture to thousands of people,,,,,This so-called women has never ever spent 1 day of her life,,NOT 1,,,, in chronic physical pain,,yet she thinks it her arrogant ass job to tell all of us how much we should and shouldn’t suffer physical pain!!!I bet u a million bucks that at lest 1/2 of those 40 people a day,,were about to loose there medicines that helped lessen there pain,,or were treated terribly by some arrogant nurse in the E.R,,,,why when physical ill patients get bullied by pharmisist or nurses,,why can’t we start sueing these people for literal pain and suffering,,,why can’t we sue this Idiot Michelle leonhart for pain and suffering and if 1 person dies because of her arrogant incompetent abuse of power,throw in voluntary manslaughter,,,PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC PAIN ARE DIEING,,,VIA FORCED ENDUREMENT OF THIER PAIN,,,THUS CHOOSE DEATH AS THERE ONLY MEANS TO STOP THEIR PHYSICAL PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! good job MICHELLE LEONHART,, u just killed 40 people today!!!!!!!!!!!!,,,paita

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