Terminate With Extreme Prejudice
This quote from the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now concerned the instructions given to Martin Sheen’s character regarding his mission to “terminate” dangerous Colonel Kurtz (as portrayed by Marlon Brando). As the story goes, Colonel Kurtz was once a fast-rising Green Beret soldier and hero. Unfortunately he goes rogue and begins to create much more havoc and terror than any possible good for the war effort.
Stay with me while I compare the flawed Colonel Kurtz to Big Pharma. If you have been in this business as long as I have, you would remember the introduction of opioids as a miracle drug to manage and relieve pain. The promotions and friendly research papers talked about its safety, efficacy, non-addictive qualities, and heroic easing of pain. Like Colonel Kurtz, concern is now being realized that opioid use can be more harmful than beneficial.
For some time, the science concluded that long-term opioid use was dangerous, even deadly, and caused hyperalgesia. Now the latest research out of the University of Colorado concludes that even short-term use (just a few days) of opioids may contribute to the cycle of pain. Their money quote: “Narcotic painkillers cause chronic pain.”
My money quote regarding opioids: “Terminate with extreme prejudice.”
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