DR. KISHORE AND THE EPIDEMIC OF GREED
He was winning the war against the opioid epidemic. Who took him down?
DR. KISHORE: HERO OR VILLAIN?
In the early 90's, a distinguished physician in Boston developed a brilliant solution to America’s opioid epidemic—a successful de-addiction treatment method that would benefit nearly 250,000 people through a network of over 40 primary care clinics.
But in 2011, Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore was accused of Medicaid fraud and subsequently spent eight months in jail. Many of his patients overdosed and died. Hundreds of employees lost their jobs. And a proven model of treatment was buried and left for dead among the staggering statistics of one of the worse health crises in our nation's history.
So, was Dr. Kishore just another crook, or did powerful financial and political interests take him down to destroy a model of treatment that was upsetting the status quo?
To some, this is a story of how a greedy medical professional orchestrated a kickback scheme to defraud taxpayers of millions of dollars. But to many of Dr. Kishore's friends and former colleagues, this was an outrageous travesty.
Hero in America is the story of how a life-saving solution to a problem affecting scores of Americans was developed by a humble physician from India, only to be destroyed by powerful political and financial forces opposed to anything that threatens their interests.
HE HAD A MODEL THAT WORKED
Most drug policy experts agree that one of the most effective solutions for confronting the opioid epidemic is to expand access to treatment. The problem is that most primary care doctors—best positioned to meet this need in communities all over the nation—don't properly understand how to treat addicted people, and they lack the training that would enable them to effectively help people overcome their addiction.
Dr. Kishore's simple, low-tech, common sense approach to treatment was a model that actually worked. It was a results-oriented, sobriety-focused, and cost-effective model of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), that used drugs any physician can prescribe, drugs that have no abuse or diversion potential, which meant communities actually welcomed his practices, as the fear of increased criminal activity was non-existent.
This film seeks to inform the general public—especially medical professionals, legislators, and policy makers—that there's a systematic solution to this crisis within our reach.
It was known as the Massachusetts Model of Treatment until it was destroyed be callous and careless special interests.
CAN A MOVIE HELP SAVE LIVES?
This is not yet another film documenting the opioid crisis but lacking real solutions.
Simply put, this film asks: What if there already existed a common-sense, low-tech, and cost-effective solution to the addiction side of this problem? What if there was a treatment model that proved incredibly effective for helping people gain and sustain sobriety after years fighting a losing battle against addiction?
This is a truly eye-opening film that offers answers that can be implemented immediately all across the nation. Our desire is to impact the lives of millions of Americans with a message of hope and a model for how needless deaths can be prevented, lives can be enhanced, and communities healed from this terrible affliction.
WHO TOOK HIM DOWN?
In the Winter of 1977, a young man travelled from New Delhi, India, to Boston, Massachusetts, with little more than a medical degree and a desire to help his fellow man. Young Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore was inspired to carry on his family’s legacy in the medical profession. He had also been deeply impacted by a classic of Hindi cinema he watched as a boy about a jail warden who rehabilitates six outcasts into productive men of virtue, a theme that would eventually mimic Kishore’s own life story and calling.
Through a series of extraordinary events, including a random act of kindness by a stranger the day he arrived at Logan International, Dr. Kishore was employed at—and later became the Medical Director of—the Washingtonian Center for Addictions, the first organization in the U.S. to recognize addiction as a disease. This experience changed his entire medical career plan and drew him into the field of addiction medicine.
Over the next decade, Dr. Kishore worked in most of the major addiction programs in Massachusetts. He had experience in every phase of treatment—whether inpatient, outpatient, or residential and a variety of philosophies from sobriety based to maintenance or twelve step to therapeutic community based. Then in 1990, while the Associate Medical Director for the Department of Corrections at Bridgewater State Hospital, Dr. Kishore founded "Home Free," an innovative award-winning pilot home detoxification program.
In 1996, he opened the first office of Preventive Medicine Associates, Inc. (PMAI), a private medical practice focused on addiction medicine. It was a quaint one-room office in Brighton, Massachusetts, built around a model of primary care. As the practice grew it became apparent that additional sites were necessary to provide easier access for patients traveling long distances to reach the office. Request came from community members, physicians, or the political structure of various communities requesting additional sites be developed in their community.