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WASHINGTON — It’s been touted by health officials for almost a year: a planned opioids research partnership worth roughly $400 million. Ideally, the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical industry would each pick up half the tab, NIH Director Francis Collins has said, to fund research aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic.

Collins reiterated last month: Dozens of drug companies were on the verge of teaming up with the agency, which researchers hope will lead to the discovery of new medicines to treat addiction or serve as alternatives to opioids.


But in an abrupt shift, the agency announced late last week that it won’t accept funds from drug makers after all. Citing recommendations issued earlier this month by an NIH advisory panel, Collins said the agency will exclusively use taxpayer money to fund a comprehensive research initiative on pain and substance use disorder treatment.

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  • It is really no wonder that we have the most expensive and least effective healthcare in the world. These agencies were undermined years ago, and they still refuse to look at Facts. The use of our Federal Agencies, by the interests they were supposed to regulate has been obscenely profitable. They created the opiate epidemic, and are still profiting from the misery. The FDA and the NIH chose to peddle pseudo science, and provide a good platform for marketing it to the vulnerable. We are in the land of Alternate Facts.

  • I have no other option but to take morphine daily or I would have no life at all. It has been a blessing that we live in an age that pain can be treated. I agree too many people do not use them correctly and they are hurting people like me who do not abuse them but need them. I haven’t had a dose change in almost 10 years. So why am I having to jump through new hoops to get the same medication(s) I have been on and stable for the last 10 years? Please don’t assume that everyone needs to be off these medications or assume that we are all abusers? It is my treatment for the very real and debilitating pain that my doctors told me would have to be treated medically (pain management with opioid meds) because everything else, surgeries, chiro, acupuncture, massage, all temporary measures weren’t working. I’m afraid the pendulum is swinging too far over and away from reason. I fear that if my pain isn’t treated because someone arbitrarily makes that decision and I cannot get the meds, then I will end up being a suicide statistic because I won’t be able to deal with the pain. Where is the voice of reason in all of this mess?????

  • When I worked at The NIH, I synthesized a new class of compounds named The Benzomorphans which wer/are potent painkillers and antigonists.
    Then, Smith, Kline and French o f Philadelphia was awarded the application to market the medicinal products, Phenazocine, and two other painkillers.
    They are fast acting, do not reduce respiration, can be taken orally and do not support addition. Why not rescue these compounds and consider them
    for use after testing?

    • I’d love to speak with you about your experience at the NIH. I am active in an organization ( which focuses on the needs of individuals with intractable pain conditions. I would appreciate your perspective. If interested, please email me at [email protected] or respond on our website. Thank you.

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