Investigating the topic of chronic pain and its impact upon society, I happened across a website which at first glance seemed helpful: Partners Against Pain. Even better, a Pain Management Advocacy Toolkit was among the website’s resources.
Pain medication is one tool that is often useful, for a while, with chronic pain. If, however, you may have to endure significant pain for an unknown time, then other tools are needed for long-term management. Pain medication is not a long-term solution for chronic pain.
Working on the assumption that Purdue Pharma produced pharmaceuticals to control pain, I dug a little deeper. This is what I found:
“Purdue Pharma L.P., a privately held pharmaceutical company founded by physicians, is focused on meeting the needs of healthcare providers and the patients in their care. Together with Purdue Products L.P. and other independent associated companies, Purdue* is dedicated to finding, developing, and bringing to market new medicines and related products that improve health outcomes. We are known for our pioneering research on persistent pain, a principal cause of human suffering.”
I was interested to see that, first, Purdue is a privately-held corporation. Private corporations are able to operate with far less transparency than public corporations. That may not translate into being in the healthcare consumer’s best interests. I am not accusing Purdue of doing anything wrong. But there is a potential conflict of interest between Purdue’s drive for profit and a patient’s need for chronic pain management. In short, Purdue might be tempted to ignore other pain remedies, such as physical therapy and yoga, in favor of ongoing treatment with pain killers.
And so I mused a bit, and found it ironic that physicians’ feet are being held to the fire by the FDA. Many persons overdose on pain medication, sometimes fatally. The FDA’s rationale is that overdoses equate to over-prescribing by careless doctors. Funny, though, that I haven’t seen anything in the media about the FDA scrutinizing pharmaceutical companies who operate behind the veils of innocuous-sounding pain management organizations such as Partners Against Pain. Perhaps such an effort is taking place and I’ve missed it. Please do bring this to my attention if you know something I don’t!
Oh yes – note in the description above that Purdue Pharma is a company founded by physicians….