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American doctor sends brutal warning to the public: Money, marketing and legislation are fueling the opioid epidemic

Opioid addiction

(NaturalNews) Practicing physician Ronald Hirsch is fed up with all the incessant marketing and over-prescription of opioid painkillers going on in the field of medicine. He knows that big money is influencing the incessant marketing of opioids. Hospital staff members are often trained to try and please patients by offering them pain relief at every opportunity. Vague patient-reported pain rating scales are highly inaccurate, not evidence-based, and do not seek to find the causes. This leads to over-prescription, abuse and complete ignorance of safe pain management strategies.

This incessant opioid marketing is driving patients to dependence on the pills, even in the riskiest circumstances, such as exposing fetal development to opioids during pregnancy (potentially leading to birth defects). As public ignorance grows, and doctors become more like drug pushers, something different has to be done. There must be some form of accountability, especially as drug companies like Purdue Pharmaceuticals continue to rake in billions selling their opioids, at the expense of their patients' long-term failing health and opioid dependence.

As the prescription opioid epidemic intensifies, calls for accountability mount

As the opioid epidemic heightens, Dr. Hirsch is calling on Congress to "hold hearings and compel the top executives from Purdue Pharmaceutical, the Joint Commission, Press Ganey, and CMS and hospital administrators to appear and testify as to their role in this national epidemic." He believes finding a solution is not enough, and that "those responsible for this crisis need to be held accountable."

In 2003, the FDA warned about the misleading advertisements coming from the manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Not looking out for people's best interests, Purdue Pharmaceuticals was engaged in misleading patients and the medical community with its fraudulent marketing on oxycontin's efficacy (or lack thereof).

Shameless opioid marketing is exacerbating ignorance of integrated pain management strategies

Hospital patients are often in a great deal of pain and do not understand that pain's origins, complexity, or how it is connected to their lifestyle over time. As suggested in the "National Pain Strategy" put forth by the U.S. HHS: "Chronic pain is a biopsychosocial condition that often requires integrated, multimodal, and interdisciplinary treatment, all components of which should be evidence-based."

Many well-meaning physicians try to curb their patients' pain, but even though their intentions are good, their methods are disastrous. Healthy Living magazine shone a light on the devastating story of one woman who nearly lost her life due to a two-week prescription of oxycodone that she was taking to block out the pain of her arthritis.

Looking for some sort of quick relief, patients may expect doctors to give them some pills to take the pain away. Doctors, feeling pressured to meet the demands of patients, often give in and prescribe opioids. Even if a doctor feels opioids are unnecessary, they will prescribe them anyway. Patient satisfaction surveys often determine whether doctors are going to get paid, so why would doctors stop short of pleasing their patients who are pleading for relief?

Patient satisfaction surveys are how hospital administrators judge the performance of the physicians practicing in the hospital. Doctors looking for higher scores try to please their patients even when a prescription is probably not in the patient's best interests, health-wise.

So, as the makers of opioids run their misleading advertisements and pound propaganda into the medical community, what they are really doing is defrauding patients out of true healthcare and hurting people tremendously. Maybe it's time for accountability, as Dr. Hirsch explains. After all, how can healthcare return to healing if we do not punish the monsters that compete to destroy healthcare?

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