Doctors In NJ Get Wealthy Helping Big Pharma Ignite Opioid Crisis
by Dawn Luger
We’ve all seen those who don’t understand just how addictive opioids are, blame the addict for his or her addiction. But now, new information is coming to light, and many doctors have raked in huge amounts of money by helping push these drugs on patients for Big Pharma while downplaying the addictive nature of the drug with intents to get more taking it.
The opioid crisis is the fault of Big Pharma and it was all done in the name of money. While many die on the streets, their friends and family assume it’s just a “cake walk” to quit, all while Congress protects lobbyists, so doctors can continue to prescribe the dangerous drugs that are making them wealthy.
The most powerful opioid ever mass-marketed was designed to ease cancer patients into death. The drug is fast acting, powerful enough to tame pain that other opioids can’t, and comes in a variety of easy delivery methods, including patches and lollipops. A dose the size of a grain of sand can kill you, and the effects of addiction are often immediate.Usage quickly becomes necessary, and withdrawal effects are slow and painful for the user.
Meet fentanyl. It’s heroin on steroids and it’s killing people in droves. None of that stopped Big Pharma and the doctors in bed with them from prescribing these drugs in terrifying quantities in the state of New Jersey. In New Jersey, you can get fentanyl after having your tonsils removed. But that isn’t all. Doctors who treat children’s colds and adult’s sore knees are prescribing it with alarming frequency, far more often than oncologists who seek to ease end-of-life cancer pain.
The surge is stoked by companies that shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to doctors, wining and dining them in hopes of convincing them that their particular brand of fentanyl is the solution to all their patients’ pain problems. And American doctors are falling for it and getting rich, while we pay the price in death. “There are some powerful drivers of opioid prescriptions that have little to do with the presence of pain in the population,” said Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at Johns Hopkins University. And money is that driver.
It was noted that a New Jersey (NJ) Advance Media analysis has found that eight medical specialties in New Jersey have filed more Medicare claims for fentanyl than those by oncologists. Family practitioners, for example, filed at least five times as many claims for fentanyl from 2013 to 2015 than did cancer doctors. The study also showed that from 2013 to 2015, doctors in New Jersey were paid at least $1.67 million by pharmaceutical companies marketing various forms of fentanyl. In the same time period, fentanyl deaths in the garden state increased from 42 in 2013 to 417 in 2015.
While the stigma and blame is still on the addict and not those who actually push the drugs, there won’t be a solution. Many who take the drug simply trust their doctor to prescribe medication that they need, without knowing much about the potent pain-killer. Drug dealers are not the ones pushing their products on unsuspecting segments of the population. They simply provide a black market product that would not be needed in such large quantities if doctors and Big Pharma were held responsible by the public for this crisis.