"Imitation is the best form of flattery." Charles Caleb Colton, 1824
"Except when it makes me want to puke." Josh Bloom, 2019
Under normal circumstance, I suppose that I should feel flattered when someone restates what I write. But these are not normal circumstances, and the "someone" is Andrew Kolodny, who, despite the lack of any evidence of knowledge, let alone expertise, in pharmacology, has managed to become our designated "expert" on the "opioid crisis"– a public health catastrophe that he and his cronies helped create (1).
This makes me want to puke.
If Kolodny's knowledge of pharmacology is bad it is difficult to even come up with an adjective to describe his chemical prowess. For all I know he thinks that the periodic table is a piece of furniture in a Merchant Ivory production.
Yet, this didn't stop him from opining in a September 4th article in the Epoch Times called "China Is Using Fentanyl as ‘Chemical Warfare,’ Experts Say."
Is Kolodny using my words to make himself seem knowledgeable about chemistry and fentanyl? You decide.
AK: “There is clear evidence that fentanyl or fentanyl precursors, chemicals used to make fentanyl is coming from China”
JB: "[Mexican drug cartels] receive their fentanyl from China, but also make their own in labs located in Mexico." From an interview with DEA Special Agent Erin Mulvey. See Trump's Wall And The Opioid Crisis (2016)
AK: "Two commonly used fentanyl precursors are chemicals called NPP and 4-ANPP."
JB: (How 4-ANPP can be used to make multiple analogs of fentanyl. See Organic Chemistry Can Defeat Any Fentanyl Agreement, 2018)
AK: “You can very easily manipulate the molecule and create a new fentanyl-like product that hasn’t been banned, that’s not technically illegal...“Some of the manufacturers, the folks creating the drugs, are aware of that.”
JB: "[Chinese chemists] also can turn an illegal drug into one that is legal because of the peculiarities of the Federal Analogue Act of 1986. It is 5,000 shades of gray. So much so that it is difficult to ascertain whether "a new fentanyl" is legal or not. Most of these cases end up being decided in court since the language of the 1986 act is ambiguous. (See How Chinese Organic Chemists Get Away With Murder - Literally, 2017)
AK: “We saw this with other synthetic drugs that are abused in the U.S., when law enforcement make the drug illegal or when they ban the molecule,” he said. “In some cases, fentanyl analogs are even stronger than fentanyl. There’s an analog called carfentanil, which is even more potent than fentanyl.”
JB: "By simply replacing the hydrogen atom (red circle) in fentanyl with what is called a carbomethoxy group (blue circle), you now have carfentanil, which is 20-times more potent than fentanyl and 1000-times more than morphine." (See: If You Think Fentanyl Is Bad...", 2017)
AK: “Sometimes, it’s hard for law enforcement to keep up with the chemist”
JB: "It may strike you as odd that drugs that were being made in China are legal in the United States. How can this be possible? It turns out that what the Chinese were doing is conceptually identical to what I did for a quarter-century in drug discovery research: chemical modification of molecules or drugs in order to make them novel and superior. The difference here is that the goals in China were legality and (maybe) superiority." (See How Chinese Organic Chemists Get Away With Murder - Literally, 2017)
AK: “We should be doing everything we can to keep fentanyl out of the country...We should be doing everything we can to ban fentanyl analogs.”
JB: "It should now be obvious that it is very far from simple to ban fentanyl and "fentanyl-related substances." Agreement with China or not, this mess isn't going away anytime soon. Chemists will see to that." (See Organic Chemistry Can Defeat Any Fentanyl Agreement, 2018)
So, as I asked above, was Kolodny using what I wrote years ago to make himself look like a fentanyl expert? It sure looks that way to me. What do you think?
(1) In my opinion, zealots like Kolodny and Ballantyne, and other PROP members have done immeasurable damage to public health in this country. Their efforts to demonize legal prescription analgesics have resulted in needless suffering for pain patients and countless deaths of opioid addicts by creating a huge market for heroin (and later, fentanyl). The pills they worked so diligently to restrict killed very few people when used properly. The fentanyl, which filled the gap is and always has been the real killer. See here and here and here and here. Sadly, there are a lot more "heres."