Monday, November 06, 2006

Lolly folly--drug, not candy

…Usually HA is sorta take-it-or-leave-it with this health news, but a story by John Carreyou in the WSJ (Nov 3, 2006), torqued her big time!

…A heavy-duty narcotic called fentanyl is incorporated into a lollipop called Actiq. Make no mistake—we're talking big drugs here.

…Some doc prescribed this stuff to a pregnant woman with migraines and pretty soon she was slobbering down five a day and her baby was born addicted.

…She said she was pain-free and happy and euphoric. No kidding, honey!

…Beside passing through the placenta, this stuff can kill ya. 127 peeps have died, including two kids who thought it was a real lollipop.

…It’s for cancer pain. Yet, only 1% of the prescriptions are coming from oncologists.

…We all know it is being misused and abused, said one health plan exec.

…Yet the maker, Cephalon, sends its reps into the offices of all sorts of docs, not just cancer specialists.

…Apparently this company is pretty notorious for off-label marketing.

…One doc says the Cephalon rep visits once a month and gives him 60 to 70 gift certificates worth six lollipops each to dole out to patients.

…The woman who gobbled these while pregnant—she was later arrested for forging a prescription for them. She says her son has shed the effects, though, although she needed to go on methadone and then to a detox center.

…Her doctor now thinks maybe it was not quite the thing to prescribe.

…Listen to HA now. Don’t be a sucker!

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