Medical specialist reaction on Raissa Robles’ insinuation Duterte is an addict: To me, it seems like political propaganda disguised as journalism

To me, it seems like political propaganda disguised as journalism.

Ouch! This is the reaction of a pain management expert following the accusation made by journalist Raissa Robles that Duterte is an addict.

Dr. Jerald Garcia, a board certified pain management physician said he knows a lot about Fentanyl. He said Fentanyl does not automatically makes you addicted to the drug.

As a board certified pain management physician, I know a lot about Fentanyl. Simply being on Fentanyl does not automatically make you addicted to it. In fact, I prescribe this medication to some of my patients. Most people who are on Fentanyl are not addicts.

Addiction is an inherent risk but not all patients are going to get addicted to Fentanyl.

Addiction is merely one of its many potential risks. Other risks include allergic reactions, cognitive dysfunction, hyperalgesia, and even death. But these risks do NOT affect the majority of patients who are on the medication.

He reminded the public that all medications carry risks.

We have to remember that ALL medications carry risks (check their package inserts) and they range from the benign (e.g. itchiness) to the scary (e.g. anaphylactic shock, addiction).

However, the inherent risk do not stop the doctors from prescribing medicines to their patients.

But these potential risks and side effects do not stop us doctors from prescribing medications to the appropriate patient. That is because, if and when we prescribe, we make sure that a medication’s potential benefits outweigh its potential risks.

He cited the case of Duterte to drive his point…

Take the case of Pres. Duterte. Here is a highly intelligent, well accomplished man who has worked all his life. He is 71 years old and now suffers from a debilitating type of chronic pain. His risk of getting addicted, overdosing or dying from a low dose Fentanyl patch is so unlikely that it is definitely outweighed by the potential benefits of pain relief, improved functionality and a better quality of life.

Dr. Garcia remarked that surgery is another option but since Duterte is not open to the idea of surgery, his doctor prescribed him medications.

Dr. Garcia offered his help if Duterte has not been given the spine-based injections by his doctor.

 His other options would have been spine surgery (something that also carries its own risks and that he is adamant about NOT wanting to undergo) and spine-based injections (something that I presume has not been offered to him yet although I could totally help him in this regard). So he is is left with one option: medications.

His verdict?

Thus, as a pain expert, I think that a low dose Fentanyl patch for President Duterte is perfectly appropriate.

He ended his post by dismissing the news report that Duterte is an addict and dismissed the accusation as nothing but a political propaganda disguised as journalism.

Therefore, this news report is really much ado about nothing. I can’t help but question its intent. To me, it seems like political propaganda disguised as journalism.”

What is your take on the post? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.


  1. Elaine December 20, 2016
  2. Gesa Villarante January 8, 2017

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