PROP Keeps Lying About Opioids – This Time They Got Caught

PROP Keeps Lying About Opioids – This Time They Got Caught

https://www.acsh.org/news/2022/07/05/prop-keeps-lying-about-opioids-time-they-got-caught-16409

If there’s any reason to doubt the veracity of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) there is now more. The group lied about the results of a June debate on the cause of the opioid crisis. We caught it.

As I wrote recently, I attended a debate at the SoHo Forum in New York in which Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a practicing surgeon (and ACSH advisor), and Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a member of the anti-opioid group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), which I have criticized multiple times for their unfamiliarity with the truth. In fact, Fugh-Berman either lied to my face or displayed her ignorance during the question and answer period when she dodged my question about her over-exaggeration of the number of overdose deaths from prescription opioid drugs. Following her “answer” she added the following:

“And we’ll also point out that the American Council on Science and Health is very heavily industry-funded.” 

My written response (See A Surgeon And A Non-Practicing Anti-Opioid Zealot Walk Into A Bar: The Singer Fugh-Berman Debate) pointed out that her claim was ridiculous and all our financials were disclosed (public record) in our 990 Form, which we must file every year. Our total industry contribution for 2021 totaled $23,000 – about 1.8% of our total revenue (1), which prompted me to wonder: “Is [Fugh-Berman] lying or merely ignorant?

Either way, Fugh-Berman is a hypocrite, criticizing us for being an industry front while she made $120,000 – more than five times our total – by charging $500 per hour as an expert witness for California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who was suing Johnson & Johnson for an allegedly defective pelvic mesh. 

Lies or Ignorance?

Since I do not know what Dr. Fugh-Berman did or did not know about ACSH, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and concede that she was ignorant and made her claim by mistake. 

This makes a recent item on the PROP website even more intriguing. PROP claims that it won the debate with Dr. Singer. This is a flat-out lie.

Source: Support PROP

In deciding between ignorance and dishonesty it is difficult to believe the former since it takes approximately five seconds to find the following on the SoHo Forum site (2). 

 

Original source: SoHo Forum

Yes, PROP proclaimed Fugh-Berman the “winner,” which is, let’s just say, not entirely accurate.

This morning I spoke with Gene Epstein, the Founder, and Director of the SoHo Forum about the PROP claim. He was displeased:

The statement on the PROP site gets the facts reversed. Their statement claims that Fugh-Berman got 45.3% of the vote [in favor of the debate proposition] while Singer got 39.5% [against]. Those numbers are the exact opposite.

Gene Epstein, Director of the SoHo Forum, Private Communication, July 5, 2022

Some questions to consider:

  • If PROP is lying about debate results what else are they lying about? And why?
  • Why does PROP dismiss ACSH as an industry front when their members are making small fortunes as self-proclaimed experts testifying against the drug companies? (Andrew Kolodny, the current president of PROP made about $500,000 ($725 per hour) testifying for the state of Oklahoma in a suit against Johnson & Johnson for the company’s alleged role in “creating a public nuisance.)
  • Is it possible that the driving force behind PROP’s militant anti-opioid stance is self-enrichment?
  • Based on their mangling of the debate results, is PROP dishonest or merely stupid?
  • Either way, why does this group have such an oversized role in determining America’s disastrous opioid policy?

Of course, there are many more questions, especially from those of you who have been involuntarily cut off from the pain medications that keep you functioning. Perhaps you want to join PROP and ask them yourself. Just don’t expect an honest answer.

In case you don’t believe Epstein or me, feel free to watch the last two minutes of the debate when the results were announced. It’s on YouTube.

NOTES:

(1) We also collected an “immense sum of $32,600 from trade associations, in case that makes any difference.

(2) The SoHo event was an Oxford Style Debate, where the audience is polled before and after the debate. The winner is decided by which debater changed the most minds with their argument. You can see from the figure above that it was dead even, both Singer and Fugh-Berman changing the opinions of 8.14% of those who voted. There is no way PROP can claim victory regardless of which number is used. 

 

 

4 Responses

  1. Not to be forgotten: Andrew Kolodny was a Board Director of PRIC, a medical malpractice insurer that profited by slandering malpractice victims as addicts who were faking pain to get drugs and lying about their malpractice injury to get money. Some lawyers got intimidated by this and settled for pennies on the dollar. PRIC got NY Assembly Speaker Dean Skelos (who then went to prison on an unrelated corruption conviction) to give them a reporting waiver, concealing their financial condition for over a decade. Did PRIC bankroll PROP while it looked for other sources of money? PRIC won’t say…they have the Skelos waiver…and PROP lie about everything else so could we believe their denial? Always a problem when crooks start associating together…everything turns into a conspiracy because none of them have any ethics.

  2. Amen Mr.SAreins,,they are always lieing,,,jmo,,,Addiction is 1000 %%% a business,,and that is exactly what kolodny saw it as..They had to find a way to make up all that $$$$$$$ lost by the closing of their abusive asylums like pennhurst,waverly,,Psychiatry had to re-invent itself for the $$$$$..
    Once folks can finally see it as a business,,and ONLY a business as kolodny intended,,he could give a rats ass about your kids addiction or anyones addiction,,he saw a chance to make a lot of $$$$ and he took it,,
    They lied continually,,and many poor souls,,actually thought it was about helping a loved one w/a addiction issue..Many of us long termers saw right through Kolodnys lies,,Any pain patient can tell u,,it was always a fight between shrinks pushing/bullying their way into pain management for the $$$$..Lie after lie kolodny/prop told,,for they truly have NO IDEA,NONE,, the physical pain of long term or acute medical illness,,,it is literally impossible for them to know anything about that physical pain from medical illlness,,,for again,,,truth dictates, it is impossible for anyone to physically feel the physical pain of another,,Furthermore psychaiatry has no medical knowledge of long term medical diseases/conditions,,,they are NOT, FACTUALLY,TRUTHFULLY educated medical diseases,like pancreatits,crps,etc,,,thus it was always a lie coming out of their mouth.
    Remember when kolodny came back at us,,,,saying,,”NOOO HE DID NOT WANT ALL OPIATES OFF THE MARKET,”,,,HE KNEW AT THAT TIME,,HE WAS CONCOCTING METHODOLICALLY ONLY CERTAIN OPIATES THAT WOULD BENIFIT HIS BUSINESS WOULD BE ALLOWED GOING FORWARD,,,BUT HE KEPT HIS MOUTH SHUT TO ALL,,,WHY,,,BECAUSE HE IS A DEMENTED LIAR,,,it kinda comes naturally to him and the prop gang,,,Once u start seeing kolodny/props idea of addiction psychiatry it solely as a business,,Its a lot easier to see right thru the lies by the liars,,AND WHERE THE HELL WAS KILLODYN FOR THE DEBATE??CHICKEN OUT,,CAUSE HE KNEW HE WOULD LOSE TO DR.SINGER,,,SEEE THAT IS THE COWARD HE HIS,,,HE CANNOT FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS DEMENTED POLICED PUBLIC POLICIES,HE CAN’T FACE ALL THOSE HE HAS KILLED BY TORTURE VIA HIS ,”GUIDELINES,”’,,,ONCE AGAIN SHOWING THE TRUE COWARD KOLODNY IS,,,,jmo,,maryw

  3. the more knowledge of truth ,alot of pain patients suffer ,we cant get better care but we the people can change that by pushing legislation i our states opiids task forces they have to stop ,like new england two days after the scotus ruling made a opioid task force ,WHY AND FOR WHAT REASON THERE ARE NO PILL MILLS ANY MORE

  4. Both. I think the answer is that they’re both ignorant and deceitful. I’ll clarify by saying that the ignorance is willful. They cheerfully turn a blind eye to anything that doesn’t suit them. Problem is, in this world that can be a highly effective strategy. You just have to give off the appearance of confidence in what you’re saying or doing and a portion of the population will believe it without question. Of course, the ones who are too eager to believe are often those that leaned in the same direction to begin with but typically never had the shove they needed to jump on that bandwagon until it rolled by them, inviting them to come along. But it’s still problematic because they in turn peddle the same fallacies and fictionalized information to others. They hold it close to their hearts because someone finally confirmed what they’ve thought ALL along. Or because it just “sounds legit” and too many aren’t the least bit interested in using their internet for a bit of light research. The internet is ONLY for news and activism, right??

    I know we use it for those things as well, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I can’t help but think if people did more fact checking what they’re told for themselves instead of waiting for someone to tell them what’s right or wrong, we may not be in this boat at all. In fact, we may have avoided several boats by now.

    Anyhow, this is why I take every opportunity I get to speak with the public about the things that are going on in such a way that it seems intriguing, to get them to want to know more. I have also had some heated debates but not nearly as often as I run into pain sufferers who didn’t even know any of what is going on right now. They didn’t even have a clue. Now, that may be hard for some to believe because we are immersed in this stuff but there are people out there who still aren’t aware why their meds have been cut down or cut off. I try to reach out to them.for sure but also to the unwitting public. Because they’re next. They just don’t know it yet.

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