November 27, 2014  Last Update: November 4, 2014, 4:47 pm

Hey NBC.. Fentanyl Sticks are not “lollipops”

Actiq Fentanyl stick from Cephalon (from Actiq.com)

This just in — according to NBC, the U.S. military is giving soldiers “new” pain killer “lollipops” in the field, as a fast-delivery mechanism with easy shut off valve (just stop sucking on it when you don’t need any more relief). Lollipops? Really? Well, that’s what NBC is leading with for the story.

The suckers are not new, and no one in the responsible military-pharmaceutical complex wants them called by the street name “lollipops.”  In fact, the military pain medicine doc in the NBC video interview repeatedly states they don’t want them called lollipops, that he doesn’t like the reference to lollipops, notes that they are serious medicine, that they don’t even look like lollipops, and that the military is very interested in avoiding the reference.

“We counsel patients (and) the pharmacists counsel patients on keeping this medication completely out of sight of children who might think or misinterpret it as candy"

Nonetheless, NBC runs with the term. The headline is “Military using ‘lollipops’ as painkillers for soldiers.” The  voice over calls them lollipops repeatedly in the video. Even when reading the warning label aloud, which never uses the word “lollipop” by the way, the NBC commentator inserts the word lollipop instead of the drug device reference.

They are Actiq fentanyl sticks, on a base of 800 mcg of fentanyl.  Street name for illegally distributed fentanyl sticks is “perc-a-pops”. The DEA advises that street names for fentanyl include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend and TNT.

Cephalon, maker of the Actiq fentanyl stick, warns that:

"ACTIQ units contain medicine that can be fatal to a child. Ensure proper storage and disposal."

and even offers a child safety kit online.

The Marines have also been deploying Fentanyl sticks

References:

  • DEA diversion page on Fentanyl sticks
  • Actual research into putting Fentanyl into candy lollipops
  • Dumb reporting by NBC: http://www.nbc33tv.com/news/national-news/military-using-lollipops-as-painkillers-for-soliders
  • Actiq product website
  • NavyTimes on marine corp use of Actiq sticks

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