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The Painkiller Panic -
WSJ.com ^ | December 26, 2004

Posted on 12/26/2004 3:06:42 PM PST by UnklGene

The Painkiller Panic -

Needed: A rational discussion on Vioxx, Celebrex and Aleve.

Sunday, December 26, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

If there's silver lining to the sudden rash of unsettling news about painkillers, it's that just maybe it will force the American body politic to think twice about whether it really wants to destroy the pharmaceutical industry through an excess of litigation and reactionary over-regulation.

If it were just Vioxx that caused occasional cardiovascular problems, after all, it would be easier to convince the ignorant and the opportunistic--i.e., likely jurors and Congressmen--that the FDA and the drug industry had erred so badly with a widely taken drug that truly drastic measures should be taken with both.

But now that Celebrex and Aleve (also known as naproxen) have joined the list...

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: aleve; celebrex; fda; healthcare; painmanagement; vioxx
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1 posted on 12/26/2004 3:06:42 PM PST by UnklGene
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To: UnklGene

I was taking 4 Aleve in 24 hours. I now take one every two or three days. My stomach told me this was not a good thing and eventually, it quit having any effect anyway. I've been on vacation now for several days and lack of stress is the best thing for my neck and shoulders.


2 posted on 12/26/2004 3:12:56 PM PST by Mercat (I know my Redeemer lives)
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To: UnklGene

Well, these are serious prescription drugs, not harmless pills that should be given out to everyone. The pharmacy companies encouraged doctors to overprescribe without properly weighing the benefits and risks. Advertising to consumers, who are not medically sophisticated enough to judge their need for these drugs vs. the risks, was another bad idea.

The whole idea of these drugs was to help people with serious, chronic pain whose stomachs might be damaged by ibuproferon and aspirin. They are not suitable for every baby-boomer who is beginning to feel the normal aches and pains of old age.


3 posted on 12/26/2004 3:14:24 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: UnklGene

Perhaps the pharmaceutical industry should pack up and move to China if they can get the necessary guarantees from China. By staying here they are just setting themselves up for robbery by lawyers.


4 posted on 12/26/2004 3:37:52 PM PST by Voltage
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To: proxy_user

"Advertising to consumers, who are not medically sophisticated enough to judge their need for these drugs vs. the risks, was another bad idea."

This is one of my favorite rants. Some dipstick who couldn't make it through high school Algebra I sees a TV commercial for "X" drug, and goes to his doc and wants THAT ONE. It happens all the time - my GP says he fights the "you don't need that" battle daily.


5 posted on 12/26/2004 3:51:29 PM PST by Felis_irritable
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To: UnklGene
Given its side effects, aspirin could not get approval as a new drug in the US, ditto for the old cadiac drug digoxin.

However,I am far more concerned about very potent drugs being made over the counter...a push by health insurance companies to avoid paying for popular prescription drugs like Claritan, Prilosec etc. Once a drug is available over the counter health insurance companies no longer pay for it.

6 posted on 12/26/2004 5:22:27 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Felis_irritable
Some dipstick who couldn't make it through high school Algebra I sees a TV commercial for "X" drug, and goes to his doc and wants THAT ONE.

I wonder how many persons actually INSIST. You mean, they say "Doc, I saw this ad for 'Vitajex' energy tablets. Prescribe it for me or I'll go to another doctor!" Maybe. I don't do that, and I don't know anyone else who does. I see many such ads, and I often ask my doctor, "Hey, doc, what about this new drug I see advertised on TV?" And he then tells me his opinion. That's why I go to a doctor. To get an opinion.

my GP says he fights the "you don't need that" battle daily.

Good for him, and good for his patients. The notion that medical knowledge should only be in the hands of a special class of specially trained persons (i.e., physicians), who should not have to answer questions is silly.

7 posted on 12/26/2004 6:17:41 PM PST by rhetor
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To: proxy_user

Precisely how does a pharmaceutical company "encourage" an MD to overprescribe a drug without weighing benefits and risks? How does a company "encourage" an MD to act against his own medical knowledge and training?

Your argument is no different from those who say "the fast-food industry encourages teenagers to overeat fatty burgers and french fries without properly weighing benefits and risks." OK. They advertise their product, showing skinny girls and boys eating their product and having fun. That's certainly "encouragement." Is it coercion? Are anyone's rights being violated? Do girls and boys have the freedom to say "no"?

Yes? Yes, they do have the freedom NOT to buy the burger-and-fries? Same with drug companies and doctors. If we blame the upbringing of the kids for being so easily manipulated by TV ads encouraging them to overeat, then we should blame the medical training of the doctors for being so easily manipulated by TV ads encouraging them to overprescribe.


8 posted on 12/26/2004 6:26:53 PM PST by rhetor
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To: UnklGene; Travis McGee; Squantos; onyx; cyborg; WKB

I agree.

I have water knees, disintegrated ankle joint, multiple dislocated left shoulder, cervical arthritis, herniated thoracic spinal disc, herniated lumbar (#5) disc and all the sciatic "fun", ringing in ear from gunshot wound and residual sternum pain from open heart surgery last January.

But I still have to beg, plead, pay 250 dollar office visits etc to get an adequate supply of narcotic pain killers or carisprodal.

I tried Vioxx...it was OK...didn't kill me...lol

Ultram is for sissies.....they hand that junk out like jelly beans.

For hardcore neuro-pain, the best is a narcotic combined with carisprodal...hands down...or cortisone injections to site......Docs don't like doing any of that much.

One can Doc shop like Rush or go to pain clinics that bilk your insurance and want to put you an a damned patch....and into the ozone....it's vexing.

I think at 47 years old and broke up like I am that a couple of Percocets at night shan't kill me.....but try telling that to the DEA gestapo. I work my ass off fine and tolerate pain killers very well.

Nuts. Good thing I don't like drink...lol

All these bastard trial lawyers who are one reason folks like me live in perpetual pain should be lined up and hung from lamposts.


9 posted on 12/26/2004 6:39:18 PM PST by wardaddy (Quisiera ser un pez para tocar mi nariz en tu pecera)
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To: wardaddy

I'm just plain broke as well and wary of any medication ......

I'm going the surgery route soon. I have an MRI Tuesday. I do not like to take any medication so am trying to shop around for a structural repair.


10 posted on 12/26/2004 6:50:42 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Squantos

I'm skeered of cadaver fusion and another surgery right now.

I'd prefer the dope I confess.

For now....I just live with it. I have some Zanaflex....weak shite but it helps.


11 posted on 12/26/2004 6:52:41 PM PST by wardaddy (Quisiera ser un pez para tocar mi nariz en tu pecera)
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To: The Great RJ
Just for curiosity.

Ipecac a drug that has been used forever to cause vomiting especially in kids when they got into pills , and used in hospitals for overdoses is going away for good.

Activated charcoal is the new drug of choice but ipecac still had it's place in special situations.

They decided that due to bulimics using ipecac to binging and purging it shouldn't be so readily available over the counter.

The goal was for it to go prescription only.

The snag is no drug company wants to pay for the drug testing on a product that will not make money, so ipecac is going away entirely.
12 posted on 12/26/2004 7:15:13 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (Free the Fallujah one)
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To: rhetor

"The notion that medical knowledge should only be in the hands of a special class of specially trained persons (i.e., physicians), who should not have to answer questions is silly."

Didn't say that, don't mean that. I go to docs that get me the results I require, i.e., fixed or as close to it as possible. I expect them to be up on the latest treatments - drugs, hardware, whatever. If they don't get the job done, I go elsewhere.

I simply have reservations about applying "Madison Avenue" to selling drugs. Because that's what it is - increasing demand based on patients seeing the ads. Docs see *a lot* that the non-physician can't possibly see. And *that's* what I pay for - his/her experience. I'm a bright guy, but I don't work with sick people 10 hours a day.

I don't have a problem with looking stuff up - I do it all the time. But I think the notion that a layman can have more than a rough idea of what's up in medicine is silly.


13 posted on 12/26/2004 8:24:03 PM PST by Felis_irritable
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To: wardaddy

I hear ya- I did go at my sister's insistence to an accupuncture Doc and he gave me wierd mulch to brew up and drink for a few days to give me energy ( those were the nights I was posting at 0500) and then had a total "Chi" experience when laying in there with approx 9 needles in me - a big release of emotion and pain relief - rather shocking actually- and then 3 days of mystery capsules and green tea- I see him tomorrow- write me to hear the rest of the story- I have spinal arthritis- and bad disks with tears and bulgings here and there- my husbands cousing after 30 years of pain from being blown out of 3 jeeps in the army has had relief from his accupuncture- I had to cold turkey celebrex and seem ok so far-


14 posted on 12/26/2004 9:01:01 PM PST by newzhawk
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To: wardaddy

Alledgedly they have a new artifical (no dead people parts) disc replacement and then dremel off, per se, the bone spurs. I swim about an hour every day and it helps a whole lot. What kills me is walking on the concrete at the widget works......

I get a massage three times a week on top of the swim and ride my bicycle about an hour a day........ when the back is really hurting I hit the jacuzzi for a while. Works thus far but it's got to be fixed.......limiting my ability to play hard and live long IMHO.


15 posted on 12/26/2004 9:30:54 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Felis_irritable
I think we're in basic agreement. I assume that what you mean by "Madison Avenue" is, specifically, TV advertising. I believe that the antidote to incomplete/misleading information in the free market of communications is more and better application of the free market of communications -- not "legislation" preventing someone from saying or advertising something.

Obviously, if a drug company says something that is an outright lie about its product, then that's fraud, and should be treated as such.

However, I think (based on casual observation) that drug-related illnesses caused by a closed-system of medical care have been greater than those caused by an open-system (or, as you put it, a "Madison Avenue" approach). For example, thalidomide in England, and DES here in the U.S., were prescribed with the best of intentions by experts.

In sum, I believe you can't have one freedom without the other: if you want the unprecedented freedom to look stuff up on the Internet (including, by the way, the reputations and backgrounds of MDs, as well as any litigation pending against them), you must also accept a company's right to hawk its latest pill. Drug companies are now posting the results of their double-blind studies on new drugs. That's good news. It's now up to you and me -- the market -- to caution others not to take Madison Avenue at face value, but to treat all advertisements with skepticism, and to question those in a position to provide answers about drug-related ads: the doctor. Of course, if the doctor merely resents having to answer these sorts of questions to begin with, then that's his problem; obviously, he's got a poor bedside manner (he needs some remedial training to help him cope with the new doctor/patient relationship, which, today, is more like supplier-of-service/buyer-of-service, and no longer like God/obedient-subject).

The position of medicine today is similar to the position of religion in the 17th century when the field of comparative or critical theology was established. Suddenly, the clergy were put in the embarrassing position of having to answer QUESTIONS from lay persons about apparent contradictions in the Bible and Church dogma. How awful! Still, if what is good for the soul benefits from a free market of ideas, then the same must be true of what is good for the body.

16 posted on 12/26/2004 10:12:58 PM PST by rhetor
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To: wardaddy

Rush did not doctor shop.


17 posted on 12/26/2004 10:18:34 PM PST by ladyinred (Congratulations President Bush! Four more years!)
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To: rhetor

Yikes. If I gave the idea that I thought legislation is the answer, and I suppose I could have been taken that way, it's not what I meant. While I wish misleading, or at best marginal advertising would go away, it won't, and I need to/will get over it and continue to protect myself with the mentioned skepticism.

As for answering detailed, pointed questions, that's another pass/fail gate for a doc with me. They have to, and all of mine (and as I get older there seem to be more) do, gladly. I think they are going to customer service training, or at least they are around here. The "I'm the doc you listen" attitude is pretty much gone in my experience.


18 posted on 12/26/2004 11:37:25 PM PST by Felis_irritable
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To: wardaddy
Right there with you WD

I have had four cervical fusions and one Lower back surgery.
But do not take any pain medication right now.
My wife has had four lower back surgeries and has been
on workers comp 3 1\2 years. She lives in constant pain.
She is allergic to all the codone pills,Lorecet etc.
and can only take darvocet and soma.
19 posted on 12/27/2004 6:10:08 AM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: Squantos

jacuzzis, massages, babes.....you liar!


You're Hugh Hefner!


20 posted on 12/27/2004 6:12:47 AM PST by wardaddy (Quisiera ser un pez para tocar mi nariz en tu pecera)
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