By Pat Anson, PNN Editor
After an eight-year hiatus, much of it spent testifying as a paid expert witness in opioid litigation trials, Andrew Kolodny, MD, has been reappointed as president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), the anti-opioid activist group that he founded. Kolodny succeeds Dr. Jane Ballantyne, who remains with the organization as VP for Clinical Affairs.
“I am delighted to serve in this role again, especially at a time when the need for more cautious opioid prescribing in the United States and abroad is becoming increasingly clear to clinicians, policymakers and the public,” Kolodny said in a press release.
Kolodny served as PROP’s first president from 2010 until 2014, when he was Chief Medical Officer at Phoenix House, a nationwide chain of addiction treatment centers. He is currently the Medical Director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University.
Although Kolodny is a psychiatrist with a background in addiction treatment and lacks expertise in pain management, he has played a prominent role in reducing the use of opioids to treat pain. He lobbied Congress and federal health agencies for years to limit opioid prescribing, and is often quoted making sensational anti-opioid comments in the media, calling them “heroin pills” or saying that over-the counter drugs like ibuprofen “are as effective and in some cases more effective than opioids.”
He stopped talking to this reporter years ago, saying he doesn’t like my questions and hasn’t had “a good experience” answering them.
Paid Expert Witness
Kolodny’s reinstatement as PROP’s president comes at a time when many opioid litigation cases are wrapping up against drug manufacturers and distributors, resulting in multi-billion dollar settlements with states, cities and counties. The plaintiff law firms who filed and pursued those cases stand to make billions of dollars themselves in contingency fees.
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