UPDATE: The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnesota has confirmed that pop superstar Prince died of a fentanyl overdose. This synthetic opioid drug is considered more potent than morphine.
Dr. David Kessler is the former dean of medical schools at Yale University and the University of California San Francisco. He served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997. Dr. Kessler says opioid drugs present a threat we can no longer afford to underestimate, “We’re all vulnerable here. It’s a wakeup call for how we view these drugs . . . We are all susceptible to these medications.”1
People start these drugs because doctors tell them they will help. But they are rarely warned about long-term consequences, says Dr. Kessler.
Prince lived an extraordinary life. But the circumstances of his death have become tragically common in the U.S.
Tens of thousands of other Americans have had their lives needlessly snuffed out because they were prescribed deadly painkillers.
Prince’s autopsy is still pending. But those close to him say he was addicted to painkillers.2 He was found dead in his home as an addiction counselor rushed to save him.3
Painkiller overdoses now kill more than 46,000 Americans a year. And they are increasing every year. That’s more deaths than we suffer from car accidents (35,369) or shootings (33,636).3 Since 1999, the death toll is more than 190,000.4
These drugs are killing Americans by the thousands… But it apparently took the death of a celebrity like Prince to push the FDA to take action. This month it finally recommended mandatory training for doctors who prescribe opioid painkillers.
We know what you’re wondering… Aren’t doctors already trained on how to administer painkillers?
Big Pharma’s Deadly Push for Profits
Yes, they do get “training.” From the drug companies. And, of course, Big Pharma wants big profits. So it pushes doctors to hand out these dangerous drugs like candy.
A new report reveals that drug company reps were given bonuses if they could persuade doctors to prescribe the most powerful version of OxyContin.5
The fact is, doctors don’t get any unbiased education about these potentially deadly medications.
Dr. Sidney Wolfe is director of the consumer group Public Citizen. Doctors are “too often influenced by opioid industry-funded ‘education’ and promotion,” he noted.
That’s why so many people end up addicted to Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet. Doctors often give these drugs to people in high doses for weeks on end.
Not surprisingly, patients end up addicted. When that happens, Big Pharma has a customer for life… Or until death. Prince reportedly started taking Percocet after hip surgery in 2010.6
‘You Want a Description of Hell?’
Opioid addiction is some of the worst pain a person can experience.
Just look at the example of Elizabeth Kipp. Like millions of other Americans, her doctor prescribed OxyContin for her back pain. She took it as directed. But she ended up addicted anyway.7
Asked what it was like, she replied: “You want a description of hell? I can give it to you.”
The pain and withdrawal symptoms were so bad she considered suicide. She eventually was able to quit after going into rehab.
The FDA is finally moving in the right direction. The new training would not be controlled by the drug industry. Before a doctor could get license to dispense narcotics, he or she would undergo training that is independent of the opioid industry. Then they’d have to pass a test.
Dr. Chris Johnson practices emergency medicine in Minneapolis, near the scene of Prince’s tragic death. He says there’s only one way to stop the wave of addiction and death. Doctors need “to reduce opioid prescribing.”8 And stop taking marching orders from Big Pharma.
But painkillers are just the tip the iceberg.
Our special report, The Top 10 Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs—And Their Natural Alternatives is an important read for you and your family. There’s a good chance someone you love is endangering his or her life. And they may have no clue.
Get all the details HERE.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch