Friday, June 2, 2017

Opoid Addiction: A Big Pharma Conspiracy?

The left has recently latched on to opoid addiction, which is destroying many in Flyover Country, as a Big Pharma conspiracy.  This 6/2/17 Washington Post article tells a different story:
To find out, Hershel and his assistant, a graduate student named Jane Porter, reviewed troves of hospital records. Their conclusions were optimistic: Out of nearly 12,000 hospital patients treated with such painkillers, just four had become addicted. Only one case was considered severe. They wrote up the good news in a one-paragraph, five-sentence letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.
“We conclude,” read the letter, “that despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.”
That was in January 1980. Over the following decades, the letter was invoked by doctors, academics, pharmaceutical companies and others as evidence that few users would develop addictions and that liberal prescription was justified. Of course, the analysis proved nothing of the sort, nor did it set out to. But the widely misread letter — now so well known it’s been nicknamed “Porter and Jick” — has been blamed for fueling the country’s opioid epidemic.
Doctors read articles citing this letter saying it was not a risk, and prescribed accordingly.

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