← Previous Post: | Next Post:


Pain, Gain

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel takes a look at an academic unit of the University of Wisconsin — the Pain and Policy Studies Group.

…[D]octors in the addiction and pain fields say the [University of Wisconsin] Pain Group pushed a pharmaceutical industry agenda not supported by rigorous science.

“They advocate for policies that benefit pharmaceutical companies and harm pain patients and the public health,” said Andrew Kolodny, an expert on opioid addiction.

… Their efforts helped create a climate that vastly expanded unproven medical use of the often abused drugs, said Kolodny, chairman of psychiatry at the Maimonides Medical Center in New York.

The group gets bundles from the relevant drug companies, though they’re a little spotty about disclosure.

Just to remind you:

… [Opioids] became so common that in 2007, 700 milligrams of morphine or its equivalent were prescribed, on average, for everyone in the country.

That’s enough to give every man, woman and child round-the-clock dosing of Vicodin for three weeks.

Unintentional overdose deaths from opioid analgesics grew from 2,901 in 1999 to 11,499 in 2007, by far eclipsing deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. Opioid deaths follow a track that is almost identical to the growth in sales of the drugs. In addition, an estimated 1.9 million people abused the drugs or had dependence problems between 2007 and 2009.

Margaret Soltan, April 3, 2011 10:09AM
Posted in: conflict of interest

Trackback URL for this post:

3 Responses to “Pain, Gain”

  1. Michael Tinkler Says:

    I missed out on MY 3 week dosage of opioids! I feel cheated!

  2. UD Says:

    You’ll get yours eventually, Michael. I’m waiting for mine too.

  3. University Diaries » Good timing. Says:

    […] Pain and Policy Studies Group has decided to stop taking drug money. This decision, apparently motivated by an exposé in the local paper, coincides with a huge new federal attack on prescription drug abuse. The Wisconsin group has taken […]

Comment on this Entry

Latest UD posts at IHE