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June 18, 2021 2 min read

We Failed to Understand Prescription Pharmaceuticals Problems; Some People Died

Baby boomers, veterans, and people who regularly participate in sports routinely experience pain. Many have chronic pain that demands attention and relief. Opioids have been the relief of choice until the recent Opiod Crisis forced the medical profession to curtail their lax approach to prescribing opioids. Recent findings shows that there has been a reduction in prescribing opioids, leaving patients in pain with no relief.

Western medicine is predisposed to dispense a pill or tonic for whatever ails you.  This practice has been in effect so long that we are immediately suspicious of any remedy that does not come with a prescription, or is not broadly advertised on television.  

Available statistics provide a peek into how prevalent our use of over-the-counter meds for pain.  According to a December, 2020 report by M. Ridder, Advil was the leading name-brand internal analgesic tablet in the United States in 2019, not including private label. In that year, Advil generated 449.5 million U.S. dollars in sales, while private label internal analgesic tablet sales amounted to nearly 1.18 billion U.S. dollars. 

A 2018 article in the  Health News section of UPI.com quotes Dr. David Katz, who  directs the Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn as saying “the nation’s highly publicized opioid crisis is really just a window to a less-publicized crisis of chronic, inadequately managed pain” among an unhealthy portion of the American public. “When narcotics are not being used to manage such pain, NSAIDs often are,” said Katz, who wasn’t involved in the study. “That a substantial subset of those relying on NSAIDs are using them ill-advisedly or excessively is rather to be expected under these circumstances.”

One solution, according to Katz, is to boost “health literacy,” so that patients know the risks of taking any medicine.

But a longer-term solution to all painkiller abuse requires refocusing attention on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, Katz said, with the goal being “the prevention and management of chronic pain by means other than medication.”Dr. David Katz directs the Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn. He said that “the nation’s highly publicized opioid crisis is really just a window to a less-publicized crisis of chronic, inadequately managed pain” among an unhealthy portion of the American public.

 

“When narcotics are not being used to manage such pain, NSAIDs often are,” said Katz, who wasn’t involved in the study. “That a substantial subset of those relying on NSAIDs are using them ill-advisedly or excessively is rather to be expected under these circumstances.” 

One solution, according to Katz, is to boost “health literacy,” so that patients know the risks of taking any medicine.

But a longer-term solution to all painkiller abuse requires refocusing attention on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, Katz said, with the goal being “the prevention and management of chronic pain by means other than medication.”


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