There are two sides to every story. Within the telling of each side there are typically some grains of truth in order for that argument to maintain some legitimacy. The founder of PROP (Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing), a self proclaimed expert on Opioid addiction, beats the drum so loudly for his side of the story many in America cannot hear the other side. Dr Andrew Kolodny, a licensed psychiatrist founded PROP and became the co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Heller School of Brandeis University without returning to academia to further his learning of opioids, pharmacology, or intractable pain and its effect on the body. He has never treated a single patient with intractable pain, or written a single prescription for any opioid other than buprenorphine (which by the way is a very powerful opioid). Starting in 2005 through the end of the 2000’s Dr Kolodny traveled throughout the US convincing Physicians, hospitals and even prisons to change from using Methadone to Buprenorphine and made a lot of money doing so.
In 2015, a secret panel led by Dr Kolodny, among other PROP members, helped develop the CDC guidelines for chronic pain management without any proper vetting by an appropriate peer group. A letter written that year and signed by the U.S. Pain Foundation, the American Chronic Pain Association, the American Academy of Pain Management, as well as several other chronic pain groups, questioned the lack of transparency in how the guidelines were developed and then presented. Pain News Network reported that at least five board members of PROP were on the CDC panels involved in developing the guidelines. As mentioned in a previous blog these “guidelines” have been walked back due to the abuse of legitimate chronic pain patients who were suddenly “left out in the cold.” Also of interest is the fact that Dr Kolodny was the main expert for the state of Oklahoma during the Johnson and Johnson trial in which the state won a $572 million judgment for which he was paid upwards of $500,000. Just saying! All evidence suggests one of the most sought after “experts” on Opioid addiction may have some underlying motivations for his rigid stance. Dr Kolodny is on record stating that chronic pain patients are in the same category as drug addicts. You and I know this is just not true.
I am hoping reading this will make you stop for a minute and examine your take on the obvious problem the United States has with mood altering substances. This problem is an extremely complex one and it would take months of blogs to examine its multiple facets. My main motive is all of us remember we are dealing with human beings and that we remain careful to remind ourselves there are two sides to every story.
Kiss your babies, connect with someone you haven’t seen in awhile and remember to live in the moment. Thank you all for your business.
President/CEO Industry Lab Diagnostic Partners