This is Why Sen. Edward Markey Is Short-Sighted on Opioid Crisis

opioid crisis, Sen. Markey, oxycontin in children, Lynn Webster, MD Massachusetts Democratic Senator Edward Markey wants the FDA to rescind its approval of OxyContin for children, and then convene an advisory panel to reconsider the issue.

Senator Markey is well intentioned but misinformed. The FDA is not the problem. The agency has not “willfully blinded itself of the warning signs” of prescription painkillers, as Senator Markey believes.

The “experts” Senator Markey is referring to tell part of the story, but the situation is more complicated than most appreciate. Surely, if Senator Markey knew the whole story, he wouldn’t want to deprive children of painkillers that could ease their extreme suffering. He wouldn’t want children to die in agony while their doctors were forced to stand by and watch them suffer.

Opioid addiction is a very real problem. There are very real solutions to the human plague of opioid addiction, but it will require less finger-pointing and more self-reflection.

Everyone in society, including Congress, is part of the problem. Tabloid reporting, knee-jerk reactions, and jumping to conclusions before we have all the facts are to blame.

We need an honest, scientific investigation of the root causes of the opioid crisis, rather than proposed superficial solutions that can cause as much harm as good. It is time for research, finding alternatives, and serious discussion that leads to practical, humane solutions.


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  1. strayan on February 1, 2016 at 2:44 am

    The senators remarks are absurd. Here in the UK intranasal diamorphine is routinely used in paediatric settings to manage acute pain.

    But then for some bizarre reason you can’t prescribe diamorphine in the USA at all.

    Methinks there’s a serious problem with your drug approval and drug scheduling systems.

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