This morning we all passed around a good summary of the “South Carolina Prescription Drug Abuse Summit.”
The article, which appears in Oregon’s Salem News (article here), does a great job summarizing the content of the summit and also critiquing it and making suggestions. Marianne Skolek is the author of the article and if that name sounds familiar, it is because she is on the front lines of the prescription drug epidemic, fighting for “the victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma.”
South Carolina is in the heart of the area of the U.S. that is being the most negatively impacted by OxyContin. OxyContin is also known as “hillbilly heroin” because of the prevalence in areas like the Appalachians and also along the “Oxy Express” freeway through the Southern U.S. into Florida.
The very existence of a Prescription Drug Abuse Summit is a positive development. Marianne Skolek included in her article a lengthy list of lecture topics that show a growing awareness and (hopefully) increased action brewing around addictive drugs like OxyContin.
Marianne writes a good summary about the existence of PhRMA or the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This is apparently some kind of lobbying group that organizes activities that support Prescription Drug Manufacturers like Purdue Pharma and rewards physicians that are “friends” of these prescription drug manufacturers.
PhRMA is actively campaigning to maintain the status quo for companies like Purdue Pharma which would lead to continued addiction and overdose. An example is the attempt to prevent the public disclosure of gifts given by companies like Purdue Pharma to prescribing physicians. The motivation for keeping these exchanges confidential is as obvious as the negative impact it will lead to on said doctors’ patients.
Marianne posts an entire list of the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers who are also a member of PhRMA and it begs the question – when will some of the more reputable pharmaceutical drug manufacturers start turning their backs on the Purdue Pharma’s of the world? I would think they would be embarrassed to be associated on such a list. Read the original article and see the list here.