By Ed Coghlan.
I spoke with Andrew Kolodny recently.
The conversation was about a commentary we had published by Suzanne Stewart that he felt was unfair. We discussed what offended him and on a couple of matters he had a point (a couple of others, I didn’t think he did).
I hope that I’m reasonable and always try to be fair. So, I asked Suzanne – absent proof to the otherwise – to make a couple of changes, which she did, and we republished the story.
After Dr. Kolodny and I had discussed the issue he had with the story, I did a quick interview with him because I’ve not been able to get hold of him in the past (or as you’ll see, since).
I told him that he, no doubt, knew that chronic pain patients and patient advocates see him as an enemy.
He acknowledged that and said, “It is a common misunderstanding. I’m not trying to throw pain patients under the bus, I’m just very concerned about the opioid epidemic.”
He later stated that millions of chronic pain patients and many others have become addicted to opioids.
I shared with him that I believed the concentration on opioids had turned the debate into a binary one – opioids are bad or good, depending on your point of view – but little has been discussed about what should be done for chronic pain patients instead of opioids.
What I suggested to him was that he should write a blog for the National Pain Report aimed at pain patients and their advocates and providers that outlines his case against opioids, and importantly, what he would recommend be done for chronic pain patients if he’s successful in limiting or outlawing opioids.
He said, “I don’t think I would want to do that, but I’ll think about it.”
The days went on and I never heard back so, on September 23, I sent him the following email:
Are you willing to write a piece for the National Pain Report?
I made the offer verbally in our phone call and wanted to follow up with a written invite.
Haven’t heard back.
The offer stands.