An extremely important article was just posted last week on September 17, 2021. We at The Doctor Patient Forum/Don't Punish Pain have been researching the CDC Guidelines and how they were written. We specifically have focused on one of the main authors, Dr. Roger Chou. We had the privilege of collaborating with a palliative care doctor who is also on the AMA Opioid Task Force, Dr. Chad Kollas. Dr. Kollas along with a few other chronic pain patients and advocates worked together to put out this phenomenal article showing in detail the unacceptable conflicts of interests Roger Chou has, and explains in why we need a congressional investigation into how the guidelines were written. How can you help? Familiarize yourself with the content of this article, and forward it to your local legislators. your local representatives, your senators, etc. The following goals are listed at the end of the article:
By: Chad D. Kollas MD, Terri A. Lewis PhD, Beverly Schechtman and Carrie Judy“I'm present. Uh … I do have a conflict. I receive funding to conduct reviews on opioids, and I'll be recusing myself after the um, director's, uh, um, um, uh… update.”- Dr. Roger Chou, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) Meeting Friday, July 16, 2021.IntroductionFor those familiar with the controversial relationship between the anti-opioid advocacy group, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP, recently renamed, Health Professionals for Responsible Opioid Prescribing), and the Centers for Disease Control’s CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016, (2) (hereafter called “the 2016 Guideline”), Dr. Roger Chou’s disclosure represented a stunning admission (3, 4). Chou had originally announced his intention to help influence opioid policy in a 2011 article that he co-authored with PROP’s founders (5), and he was a bold signatory to PROP’s 2012 Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change opioid labeling (6; See Figures 1a and 1b: First page and signatory page.)
In March of 2021, Dr. Mark Sullivan, a member of PROP (Health Professionals For Responsible Opioid Prescribing), was published in a journal run by Dr. Jane Ballantyne. Dr. Chad Kollas and a CPP, Carrie Judy, wrote a letter to the editor asking for a correction of Dr. Sullivan's stated COI's. Dr. Sullivan had worked as a paid expert witness in opioid litigation (I know, shocking), and didn't disclose this information in his COI's. It's so ironic because PROP always claims any pain org and patient advocates fighting for CPP's are just paid opioid lobby shills. Yet, the amount of money PROP members have made from the litigation narrative is undisclosed. Thanks to the letter from Dr. Kollas and Carrie, a correction was printed including Dr. Sullivan's updated conflict of interest.
In May of 2022, once again, Dr. Sullivan had several tapering articles in the same PAIN journal run by Dr. Ballantyne. Yet again, Dr. Sullivan didn't list his COI of working as an expert witness in opioid litigation. Dr. Chad Kollas and I sent in a letter to the editor asking for a correction. On May 31, 2022, we received a response (see image below) stating they decided not to publish our letter, but they would print a correction. Again.
On September 15, 2022, PAIN Journal, run by Dr. Jane Ballantyne (also a PROP member) printed this correction stating Dr. Mark Sullivan has, indeed, been a paid expert witness in opioid litigation.
We consider this a success. We are so grateful for the work of Dr. Chad Kollas and other CPP's like Carrie Judy who continue to fight for our community. We will continue to expose their lies and false narrative.
PROP's Disproportionate Influence on U.S. Opioid Policy: The Harms Of Intended Consequences
Roger Chou's Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest: How the CDC's 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain Lost its Clinical and Professional Integrity
Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest by Physicians Creating the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines: Bad Faith or Incompetence?