Kristen Johnston: I wonder why no drug co has made safe, non-addictive painkiller as successful as treating pain as Opiates are?
HollywoodDebi: if it's not addictive, how will they line their pockets?
David Kroll: Reason no drug co has made a non-addictive painkiller as effective as opiates is because the science is hugely challenging
Kristen Johnston: I honestly doubt that.It was at this point that, watching this, I turned to my wife, pointed out the exchange and said, "Who are people going to believe? The pharmacologist or the actress?"* But David, to his credit, began to really engage her, talking about her addiction to pain pills that she is in recovery from**:
David Kroll: Kristen, no scientist wants people to go through the struggles you've experienced. The field is working very hard on this.
Per-Ola Norrby: I know that AstraZeneca poured billions into pain, unsuccessfully, now stopped trying.
Kristen Johnston: OK, I believe you. Do you mean too diff to actually create the drug, or too diff to fight big pharma?
David Kroll: if a company found a non-addictive painkiller as effective as strong opiates, they'd have a blockbuster
David Kroll: I'd say too difficult to find something as effective without being an opiate and having addiction potential.
David Kroll: So it's not a fight against big pharma. It's a problem that needs both govt funding and big pharma investment
Kristen Johnston: I see. Thank you for clarifying. I appreciate it.Click here for the whole exchange, of which I've excerpted a small part.
I think David gave me a really important lesson in the power of empathy, in terms of persuading people about the difficulties of science and engaging people who simply do not have the same background that you do. These are all things that I know, but it's much easier to throw up one's hands and think that arguing with people about the benign intentions of the pharmaceutical industry is futile. Sometimes, it's not.
*It was also at that point that I felt the beginnings of getting really offended; nothing quite like one's motives impugned to get the blood running hot.
** Something that I wasn't aware of, actually.