Pubdate: Mon, 03 Sep 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Author: Kevin Chard, Kevin Fansler
Bookmark: (Oxycontin)


Re: "OxyContin Abuse May Curb Progress in Pain Field" (Aug. 13): I suffer 
from peripheral neuropathy in my feet due to long-term, prescribed use of a 
medication. At one point, the pain was so intense that I could not function 
on a daily basis and had to be on a three-month disability from work. After 
carefully and completely informing me of the drug's hazards, my neurologist 
started me on OxyContin. I have had great relief from my pain and have 
actually returned to work. Therefore, I am appalled and frightened that 
there is even a hint that U.S. drug officials might yank it from the market 
due to its illicit use and that, because of this illicit use, there is a 
chilling effect on legitimate use of the drug.

Kevin Chard


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According to the article "OxyContin Abuse May Curb Progress in Pain Field" 
(Aug. 13), OxyContin is being severely abused. As a result, prescriptions 
of this opiate-based drug are becoming more difficult to obtain. Pain 
patients face the specter of being denied access to a very effective pain 
medicine with no effective substitutes.

Much of the rationale to limit OxyContin prescriptions centers around the 
OxyContin-involved deaths (more than 100 so far). In comparison, about 
16,000 Americans per year die from using drugs such as [ibuprofen] or 
[naproxen]. It is puzzling that most of the attention has focused on 
OxyContin but little effort has been made to reduce the number of deaths 
caused by other drugs.

Kevin Fansler

Havre de Grace, Md.
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