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The Champion of Painkillers

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article on a website
Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber
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Pro Publica
Mar 7

PainSci notes

For years I assumed that narcotic pain killers are effective, and I took at face value the American Pain Foundation’s position that the risks of addiction are overblown, and the drugs are stigmatized and underused, resulting in a tragic lack of relief for many patients. This article casts reasonable doubt on all of that, and on the credibility of the APF, who may be serving the interests of pharmaceutical companies better than patients. In the spirit of Dr. Harriet Hall’s skeptical rule of thumb — “Who disagrees and why?” — it is clear that there is a problem here. Politics aside, I am most perturbed by the idea that opiates may not be all that effective in the first place. There is little doubt that these powerful drugs are valuable for some kinds of pain — just try passing a kidney stone without them! — but they may be surprisingly powerless against other kinds.

~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher

Related Content

These two articles on cite this item as a source:

  1. 13 Kinds of Bogus Citations
  2. Opioids for Chronic Aches & Pains