The radio show has long lamented the ignorance my local newspaper continues to display regarding the growing drug epidemic. The home of the St. Pete Times, Pinellas County, has the highest reported drug related deaths in Florida http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/getdoc/9256e6e4-67bf-4a02-a7c6-3f1e93fde6c1/2010DrugReport.aspx While the Times will report on the deaths and destruction from drugs that are interchangeable with the heroin drug trade, it appears the paper continues to support an unhindered legal narcotic distribution.
On December 1st, after a major drug chain was to have reported to not fill prescriptions for some doctors in Florida, the Times followed up with an editorial that included: “With drugstore chains now dominating the prescription drug market, any mistake that stigmatizes legitimate doctors’ prescriptions has the ability to greatly hinder their patients’ ability to obtain the drugs they medically require.” http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1204174.ece The phrase “legitimate doctor” has never been defined in the scientific literature. The Times succumbed to a marketing term used by the legal drug mavens.
On Thursday, December 8th, David S. Craig, a pharmacist associated with The Mayday Fund http://www.maydayfellows.org/ submitted an article to the St. Pete Times. Craig’s article displayed how desperate both the pain maven industry has become and the Times remained a willing participant. http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/cancer-patients-denied-needed-pain-treatment/1205203
In the beginning of Craig’s editorial: “Jane is a 40-year-old married woman, a veteran of the Marine Corps and a mother of two small children.” I am assuming Jane is Caucasian. Jane has been diagnosed with cancer and has had a difficult time finding a pharmacist who will dispense her large quantities of oxycodone. While Craig takes issue with a drug chain making a positive decision for the communities in Florida, he ignores that possibly the pharmacists refusing the prescriptions are concerned about the safety of Jane’s children while on the large doses of narcotics.
Craig later states the drug cartel mantra of an “estimated 116 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain and are finding it harder to get the treatment they need.” Publishing a statement implying over a third of the adult population are candidates for derivatives of the opium plant is beyond common sense, but the pain industry and the St. Pete Times have become comical in their plight to protect the industry.
Craig states: “The reality is that many health care professionals, including physicians, pharmacists and nurses, do not receive appropriate training in pain management and how to effectively identify risk factors or common behaviors associated with drug addiction. As a pharmacist, I understand these challenges and have an important role in keeping patients safe and their pain adequately treated.”
It is clear that Craig has put himself in a superior category of identifying individuals who will have a potential problem from the dangers of an opioid drug. From his article, Craig has identified that 40-year-old-married-white women – with children are safe candidates for the lifelong dependence opioids create. For Craig and the Times, it would appear that minorities, men, homeless, unemployed and anyone on a lower socio-economic scale are not safe candidates to dispense narcotics to.
A racially biased and derogatory statement towards who The St Pete Times thinks are susceptible to drug addiction should be retracted by the paper. David S. Craig is an embarrassment to a fellow pharmacist who views every individual with the same concerns regardless of their background or economic standing.