Pharmaceutical Abuse of the Public Justified via Junk PharmaScience: The Death Letter

A 1980 Death Letter on the Risk of Opioids Says it All: “PharmaScience” is the new Tobacco Science

In 2015, in my my book “Cures vs. Profits”, I coined the phrase “Science-Like Activities” to refer to actions and behaviors that seem, on the surface, to be Science but that were, in fact, not. Since then, millions have read my blog articles on http://jameslyonsweiler.com and watched episodes of my podcast Unbreaking Science. In both of these outlets, I have endeavored to inform the public that the tobacco science that kept people smoking and dying well after the tobacco industry knew that smoking caused cancer is now used - routinely and pervasively - to trick the public into believing that pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, are safe and effective.

The opioid epidemic has many culprits: the families that own the companies, the companies, the over-prescribing doctors, and the pharmacists who have turned a blind eye. The US government worked to insure a steady, cheap supply of opium using the military to take, hold and manage the poppy fields in Afghanistan.

All of this could have been prevented were it not for a five-sentence letter published in by Porter and Jick in 1980 by the New England Journal of Medicine.

An article published in 2017 by Leung et al. studied the 608 citations of the letter; 439 cited it as affirmation that opioid use in medicine did not lead to addiction and found that 491 of the articles failed to mention that the patients mentioned in the article were hospitalized.

The authors of the 2017 article performed a behavioral analysis of how the citations of the 1980 letter were made (which I found fascinating), and then provide some examples of use the uncritical use of the 1980 letter.

The mass of literature citing an analysis of real-world data to mischaracterize the risk of opioid addiction and abuse were amplified by companies marketing opioids to prescribers, including by stating or implying that opioids were rarely addictive, or to blame the patients by claiming that only those who had prior abuse problem were at risk of addiction, are all tools used in the marketing of opioids to physicians, and through them, their patients.

Consider this quote from a 2016 lawsuit complaint against Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, et al., in Chicago

“(P)rescriber accounts reflect that Actavis detailers omitted or minimized the risk of opioid addiction; claimed or implied that opioids were safer than NSAIDs; and overstated the benefits of opioids, including by making claims of improved function.”

Oddly, as of this morning, Pubmed reports only 168 citations of the Death Letter; Google Scholar shows 1433 citations, including many in the recent years that cite the letter as motivation for their study of the efficacy of guidelines for reducing opioid addiction in patients. Of course allopathic medicine can manage “safe opioid use”, right?

Just how many thousands, hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people may have been killed by opioid addiction due to this letter? From 1999-2019, the death toll is staggering: on average, 15,000 overdoses are still occurring from prescribed opioids. Add in the fact that addiction to pharmaceutical opioids is a gateway process to other opioids and to street drugs, and we can see the epidemic was truly taking off just before COVID-19.

The toll of PharmaScience on us only begins with opioids. Vioxx, which was touted as safe & effective, led to over 140,000 heart attacks and 60,000 deaths. It was PharmaScience that misled the public on Vioxx.

The abuses of the public trust by pharmaceutical companies who pump pharmadrugs into the population and then add more pharmadrugs to deal with the side effects of drugs are evident across the practices of medicine. Healthcare “maintenance” means steady-state prescriptions and the growth model of allopathic medicine means overprescription of pharmadrugs targeting symptoms from pharmadrugs. Health and wellness does not come in the form of a pill. Just how many more have been hurt or killed by other pharmaceuticals?

Yet half the use US still trusts these criminal with injections?

The US has its priorities in the wrong place. I’m going to make a claim that will rock skeptics to the core: far more people die from pharmaceuticals every year than from COVID-19. How can this be?

When the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are adjusted for the PCR false-positive rate (as high as 91%), and when the data on cases in the vaccinated and unvaccinated are analyzed appropriately by compared “exposed to COVID-19 vaccine” vs. “unexposed”*, instead of using CDC’s bizarre definition of “fully vaccinated” (those who survive five weeks after the first exposure and two weeks after the second dose), far more people die just from opioid overdose than from COVID-19.

Yet we are tearing society apart over who is accepting pharmaceuticals - and who is rejecting them.

“PharmaScience” is the new Tobacco Science. When you think of Science, please don’t confuse PharmaScience with Science. That demarcation is abundantly obvious even to people who are not card-carrying scientists like myself.

My dear friends and colleagues, Dr. Paul Thomas and Jennifer Margulis have a fantastic book on addiction. Physicians and patients around the world need to know there is hope. Click on the book cover below to go to Dr. Paul’s website to learn more.

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