No Accountability in the Opioid/Heroin Epidemic Results in Dangerous “False Prophets”

Photos published under U.S. Fair Use Policy

Marianne Skolek Global News Centre

Over the years I have written many articles on the profiting by paid spokespersons and foundations by the pharmaceutical industry in sparking the opioid/heroin epidemic fires throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Some of the profiteers I have been writing about are as follows:

Scott M. Fishman, MD
Lynn R. Webster, MD
Perry Fine, MD
J. David Haddox, DDS, MD
Russell Portenoy, MD
Curtis M. Wright, MD
Margaret Hamburg, MD
Bob Rappaport, MD
Douglas Throckmorton, MD
American Pain Foundation
American Pain Society
American Academy of Pain Medicine
Some of the physicians named above are under U.S. Senate investigation for allegedly profiting from pharma by minimizing the risks of addiction and death to prescribed opioids.  One physician is also under Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigation for multiple deaths at his pain clinic.  Other physicians have avoided the radar of the U.S. Senate, but may be still be held accountable as the investigation evolves.

As tens of thousands of victims of the over prescribing of opioids die or become addicted every year because of the most methodical and evil marketing of painkillers, what would happen if this epidemic became a strategy of ridicule?  But maybe I’m using “ridicule” for lack of a better word — should it be narcissism or possibly “wannabe syndrome?”  You decide since I may be offended by the following because I recognize we are losing tens of thousands of lives to addiction and death to opioids and heroin — and I take it very seriously.

In no way am I promoting the following pharmacist’s blog writings — I just want to lay out what happens when there is no accountability against pharmaceutical companies, their paid medical spokespersons, funded pain organizations and books written downplaying the addictive qualities of prescribed opioids.  My particular concern is the new opioid Zohydro ER approved by the FDA even though their Advisory Committee advised against it.  A pharmacist named Jeffrey Fudin has other thoughts on the “benefits” and need for Zohydro ER.


Jeffrey Fudin is a PharmD which is a pharmacist who has a B.S. in pharmacy with one or two years of clinical rotation and calls himself “doctor”.  Most pharmacists around the country have their PharmD degree but consider it misleading to call themselves “doctor”.  Mr. Fudin can call himself whatever he wants, but here is where I hear ducks quacking.

Fudin promotes himself as follows — “Dr. Fudin is a pain management specialist offering expert witness, lecture services and opioid risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS) education” and posted information on his blogs that may be concerning coming from a pharmacist promoting himself as a pain management specialist.

I have taken the liberty of highlighting some of the information and photos Fudin has posted as Dr. Fudin  on the speakers’ bureau for Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Millennium Laboratories, and Purdue Pharma.

Mr. Fudin’s postings in bold — my responses are in parenthesis.

Statement: “Zohydro ER will result in overdoses because it contains PURE hydrocodone.”
Duh. All prescription drugs approved by the FDA contain pure drug. Lortab and Vicodin each contain PURE hydrocodone and PURE acetaminophen. The hydrocodone in Zohydro ER is no more or less PURE than any other prescription hydrocodone.

(Maybe the word “duh” could be considered a putdown to the physicians and activists throughout the country very concerned about the lack of an abuse deterrent built into Zohydro ER and the fact that this newly approved opioid carries the tag name “heroin in a pill)..

Statement: “Zohydro ER will cause increased deaths because people will overdose it or snort it.”
Unclear. There are no data to support or dispute this because it hasn’t happened yet, nor do drug companies test patients in advance with a specific endpoint to see who dies.

(It hasn’t happened yet, Mr. Fudin?  We have a tsunami of deaths and addictions throughout the country under the guise of — chronic pain patients need yet another painkiller.  Who profits from this?  Those on speaker bureaus for the pharmaceutical industry?)

But, in my humble opinion, anybody that overdoses on Zohydro ER most probably died of natural causes, took more than prescribed, and/or combined the drug with other sedative-hypnotics that were not prescribed. Or the prescriber did something wrong or the dispensing pharmacist did something wrong.

I suspect that anybody who chooses to take more than prescribed, and/or combine the drug with other sedative-hypnotics that were not prescribed would have gotten hold of another opioid and overdose on that instead. So will opioid overdoses increase overall? Not likely. Will some people die from abusing this drug? Probably, but they likely would have died from another opioid, and if it was injectable heroin, they may have the pleasure of dying from an infectious disease such as HIV or Hep C or right-sided infectious endocarditis.


(“They may have “the pleasure of dying from an infectious disease such as HIV or Hep C or right-sided infectious endocarditi?.”  As a nurse working in a large medical center beginning in the early 1990’s I worked on an infectious disease floor caring for many HIV/AIDS patients — hands on — not dispensing pills in a bottle as a pharmacist.  I assure you I took no “pleasure” at watching AIDS patients die and wrote an article about AIDS patients telling me “no one will touch me.”  A copy of that article is attached.  Also, I am not a pharmacist promoting myself as a doctor, but I believe your reference to “right-sided infectious endocarditis” is, in fact, “right-sided heart valve endocarditis” but I’m not a pharmacist who has no hands on experience with patients).

As disgusted as I was to Mr. Fudin referring to the “pleasure” of HIV, I was beyond disgusted by the photo he posted touting his conversion formula to using Methadone.  “Converting to Methadone has never been so much FUdiN”.

Somehow I never considered taking Methadone as FUN.  But I never expected that I would ever be so offended by a “false prophet” who walks and sounds like a duck ridiculing the loss of life.

Please support this rally with your attendance:
Fed Up Rally, Sun., September 28, 2014
Washington, DC
Rally for a Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic
For more information and to have your voice heard, refer to
LP -  Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.  Lao Tzu

Marianne Skolek

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