I haven’t talked much, if any, about Michael Jackson’s death. Now they’re reporting that he died of an overdose of Propofol. That’s a drug that’s used for general anesthesia, and is rarely abused recreationally â€” the DEA hasn’t even bothered to schedule it.
And yet our drug czar has been salivating over the opportunity to make Michael Jackson the poster child for prescription drug abuse (calling his death a wake-up call).
First of all, the notion that Michael Jackson, in life or death, ever was a representative sample of anything, is absurd.
And of course, the results of such overzealous campaigning are likely to be two-fold.
- Emboldening the DEA to continue to act as if they have medical training and the right to determine what doctors prescribe (and arrest them if they believe differently).
- Making doctors afraid to prescribe the required medicine to really help the sick.
If there is prescription drug abuse, then fine, let’s deal with it. But just looking for opportunities to propagandize regardless of relevance â€” that’s just irresponsible.
I wrote a little blog post with one of my many cynical political predictions here. (The Michael Jackson Diprivan Scheduling Act of 2009)
A week or two after I wrote that, this was the news:
The Drug Enforcement Administration was petitioned two years ago to make propofol a so-called “scheduled” drug under the Controlled Substances Act. That designation is used to impose restrictions on distributing and prescribing certain drugs prone to abuse and addiction.
DEA spokesman Rusty Payne confirmed Wednesday that the agency is considering adding propofol to the list of controlled substances.
Pathetically predictable. So if you need surgery, get it done sooner rather than later. Once Diprivan is a controlled substance, it will cost more, doctors will not want to use it, or will use as little of it as they can (a lot more people will be waking up during surgeries due to insufficient anesthesia). And of course it will be made a C-II controlled substance – after all, it may have killed one whole person! But no matter the damage that results from making Diprivan/propofol a controlled substance, they’ll deem it worthwhile because TPC* will be safe. Same from something that’s never harmed anyone when used properly.
* TPC = “the precious children”
The DEA chasing after pain doctors is a real shame. So many patients have suffered, and some even killed themselves when the only doctor who would prescribe enough medication for their pain was arrested.
And to what purpose? So we could keep a few extra junkies from getting high?
Bah. If only we could fire that entire agency.