In Canada we have the Canadian Guideline For The Safe And Effective Use Of Opioids For Chronic Non Cancer Pain.
In November 2007, the National Opioid Use Guideline Group (NOUGG) formed under the
umbrella of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) with support
and/or representation from all provincial and territorial medical regulatory authorities (MRA).
NOUGG’s aim was to oversee the development and implementation of a guideline to assist
physicians in managing patients with CNCP by prescribing opioids in a safe and effective manner.
Need for the National Advisory Panel
The available evidence on safe and effective use of opioids for managing CNCP was necessary but
not sufficient to create practical clinical guidance. Clinical expertise was also required. In response to
this need, NOUGG created a process to capture expert opinion through consultation with a variety of
experts and stakeholders. NOUGG’s intent was to create a well-balanced advisory panel so that
multiple perspectives and experience were included in feedback for the developing guideline.
There are 46 Doctors on this National Advisory Panel for Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. Of the 46 doctors on this panel 18 are funded in some manner by Purdue pharmaceuticals , the maker of OxyContin , Dilaudid , and many other powerful opioid narcotics. Out of these Doctors :
7 are PI or Co Investigators for Purdue pharmaceuticals
7 do consulting or recieve a Honorariam from Purdue pharmaceuticals
2 speak at Purdue pharmaceutical conferences
1 is a stock/stakeholder of Purdue pharmaceuticals
AND 1 HAS THEIR PAIN CLINICS TOTAL OPERATING COSTS PAID FOR BY PURDUE PHARMACEUTICALS !
The company that makes the narcotic painkiller OxyContin and three current and former executives pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused.
To resolve criminal and civil charges related to the drug’s “misbranding,” the parent of Purdue Pharma, the company that markets OxyContin, agreed to pay some $600 million in fines and other payments, one of the largest amounts ever paid by a drug company in such a case.
Also, in a rare move, three executives of Purdue Pharma, including its president and its top lawyer, pleaded guilty as individuals to misbranding, a criminal violation. They agreed to pay a total of $34.5 million in fines.
Initially, Purdue Pharma contended that OxyContin, because of its time-release formulation, posed a lower threat of abuse and addiction to patients than do traditional, shorter-acting painkillers like Percocet or Vicodin.
That claim became the linchpin of the most aggressive marketing campaign ever undertaken by a pharmaceutical company for a narcotic painkiller. Just a few years after the drug’s introduction in 1996, annual sales reached $1 billion. Purdue Pharma heavily promoted OxyContin to doctors like general practitioners, who had often had little training in the treatment of serious pain or in recognizing signs of drug abuse in patients.
Federal officials said that internal Purdue Pharma documents show that company officials recognized even before the drug was marketed that they would face stiff resistance from doctors who were concerned about the potential of a high-powered narcotic like OxyContin to be abused by patients or cause addiction.
As a result, company officials developed a fraudulent marketing campaign designed to promote OxyContin as a time-released drug that was less prone to such problems. The crucial ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, a narcotic that has been used for many years. But unlike other medications like Percocet that contain oxycodone along with other ingredients, OxyContin is pure oxycodone, with a large amount in each tablet because of the time-release design.
So this is the company who is funding 18 of the 46 Doctors on our National Advisory Panel For Opioid Safe Prescribing Practices in Canada , does that make you feel SAFE? Its like the Hells Angels funding your local Police Department !