lördag 14 oktober 2017

I do look forward to your program/article about the opioid epidemic - but do not forget the worst opioid of all - (Dextro) Propoxyphene (DXP)

Dear Friends, colleagues

This text is about your important show on opioids that will be on the air and in Wash Post on Sunday. We are in the same business as you, we are two PhD´s (my wife and me) that have studied the painkilling substance and opioid – that now is forgotten - (Dextro) Propoxyphene DXP ( Brands: Darvon and Darvocet) since 1994. We are behind the decision to ban DXP all over the world, in US 2010. Our CV http://bit.ly/2tsVOPL

I was just aware of your investigation a couple of hours ago and I was very happy about what I now have read about your investigations. It looks great. We have been fighting DXP since more that 20 years now - and the drug is now banned all over the word, and we have done a lot to make this possible. We were the whistle-blowers in Sweden, UK, European Union (EU) and US.

(Just now I am on a trip to Stockholm, we usually live in a small town nowadays Katrineholm, after living in the university town of Uppsala since 1965. I became very eager to write to you as soon as possible, but my research data are at home and I will now write “from my memory”, so to say. I hope you will excuse me when my words are not so exact and the structure of my words may not be the same it would be when I write and have all my research at hand. Thanks.)

My spontaneous thoughts after reading about your program:

If you want to solve a problem of today – the opioid-epidemic – you have to know something about its history. The big opioids-problems didn´t start yesterday, maybe it started more than 50 years ago with the painkilling substance (Dextro) Propoxyphene (DXP). It is an opioid and quite close to Methadone, but it was more toxic than any other drug.

The substance was synthesized 1953 and it took FDA four years to approve after a really bad article from Eli Lily to FDA. The drug was tested on animals, not any human being .  In the early 60s it started to appear scientific articles that show how fatal DXP was.

After studying the substance since 1994 we have lots of important data to share with you, primary from the largest county in USA – Los Angeles county – with the coroner system – and the FDLE - Florida Department of Law Enforsement – and they have the Medical examiner system. These systems differs a lot from each other, in LA they search/scan for illegal drugs but in Florida they search for prescribed drugs. In LA they did not find one since case with DXP, but in Florida the found o lot – after studying our published scientific articles.

We have important data from these two places over a period of ten years.

We also have consumption data from INCB – The International Narcotic Control Board in Vienna (WHO) since 1980´s for DXP. This organisation appreciated our research so they helped us twice with lots of data.

We have also prescription data concerning DXP during the years 2000-2012.

In Sweden we got a new system in the forensic medicine 1992, a couple of years before we started our research. This system – was the most updated and modern in the whole world. In US you have these two different systems, The Medical Examiners and The coroners – which mostly is old organization. One example; in Sweden we always screen for prescribed drugs – that means of course DXP. When a person dies outside a hospital you will be brought to the forensic medicine system and almost every test for all legal drugs I done. Therefore our data are extremely good. We publish seven scientific articles about our DXP-research and also wrote – as we mention in our CV two doctoral dissertations.

Nobody in the whole world have studied DXP as long and wide as we had. We did our work within the academic world - with all that means, referees and so on. I started my PhD study when I became 50 years, my wife was 44. We founded our research by teaching about alcohol and drugs in the Public Health, you can name it pro bono.

In US you have around 3200 counties in the country and all of them decide they decide for themselves if there will be any blood test or not. “Bloodtests cost money” . And the two systems are so different.

Our articles and dissertations was also examined in a proper way. Before DXP was banned the FDA presented a report about the banning. This report was written “from the inside”, and as you know how strong the pharmaceutic industry is. When I read this report I became quite sure that there would be no trials about the victims of DXP – and unfortunately I was right. I do not know this is so well known, but I wrote to the court in Kentucky where the trial supposed to be. The judge would be Danny C Reeves.

There were some thousand plaintiffs who sued 70-80 different companies, some hundred lawyers worked in many years – and suddenly the court told me that there will be no trials.

I have visited US and DC several times during our work, I met with David D Dorsey twice who worked for senator Kennedy, I met people from Public Citizen: Larry Sasich Pharm Dr, I was also in contact with Sid Wolf, MD at Public Citizen. He told me once that he had tried in many years to ban DXP but he did not succeed. Now when we how your data I think we will succeed. We were invited by Sid to cosign the two letters that Sid Wolf wrote to FDA.

There was also a congressional hearing about DXP, I think it was 1985, I have the protocol at home. I also met with Nora Volkov at NIDA at one of my visits, I was once invited by the Swedish ambassador Gunnar Lund some year ago - I met him in Sigtuna in Sweden at a semiar for Dag Hammarskjöld – it was 100 years since he was born 1905 and at that meeting one of the ambassador coworker Magnus Härviden asked me if I wanted to meet a journalist at Washington Post, his name was Nis Bruzelius. It was a great memory for me to visit the Post and meet Nils, whose father came from Sweden.

Four years ago I visited The National Press Club and had a press-conference there. See my tweet:

My Press-conference at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington DC about Darvon 10 th Sept 2013 http://bit.ly/1PAAMUg 

I have now written down some thoughts and wonderings I got after reading about your up coming show and Post article.

I am working with the last article about DXP, where I will present data from Los Angeles and FDLE. It is very difficult to estimate the number of deaths, due to poisoning from DXP, but as we have really good data from the modern Swedish forensic medicine. We have also estimated the numbers of death from using DXP. DXP was on the market 53 years, and to compare the consumption of DXP in Sweden with the consumption of DXP in US we were able to make an estimate.

The numbers of deaths during this period (1953 – 2010) - was around 6 000 fatalities every year, some 300 000 fatalities all together, probably even more. Nobody have ever spoken about this.

I think that some people have this knowledge, even some in the official business, and I also think that this is a nightmare, a bad conscience, but most people dare not to talk.

You are really doing a great job, and I think we have some very good information that cold ne of great help for you. You can dig ever deeper.

I am also planning to write two debate articles about our latest data; my headings are: ( I just happen to have this text with me to work with)

No trials at all about Darvon/Darvocet victims in court in Kentucky East
Thousands of plaintiffs had to wait – in vain. Decision after six years of waiting

Opioid-related mortality increases, heroin epidemic kills more and more – but do not forget
The Propoxyphene era (1953-2010 - 57 years)

I found in my paper the following:

”All cases in the 2_11-md-2226 have been closed and there will be no trials”

-       I got this answer on a mail from Susan Conner, Case Coordinator, US district court, Easter District to Kentucky, 2016-08-25 – 21.05. The same day I asked her when the trials about the painkilling substance propoxyphene would start.

Good Luck with the program I will watch it of course

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind regards

Ulf Jonasson
Doctor in Public Health (PhD) and Journalist
Stortorget 6, SE-641 30 Katrineholm, Sweden
Phone: + 46 (0)730-23 26 00, + 46(0)150-10290


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