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Psychedelics: Can getting high improve your mental health?
2020-01-27, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/24/health/goop-psychedelics-wellness/index.html

Can the mind-blowing effects of psychedelics help heal our traumas? The scientific community [says] it's an increasingly hopeful thumbs up. Despite the fact that psychedelics are illegal, the last decade has seen an explosion of research, with results so intriguing that governments are greenlighting studies around the world. Scientists are busily exploring the role of hallucinogens on treatment-resistant depression, post traumatic stress disorder, cancer-related anxiety, addictions, and even anorexia. During the '40s and early '50s tens of thousands of patients took LSD and other psychotropics to study their effects on cancer anxiety, alcoholism, opioid use disorder, depression, and ... PTSD. Researchers began to see psychedelics as possible "new tools for shortening psychotherapy." In the 1950s UK psychiatrist Dr. Humphry Osmond began giving LSD to treatment-resistent alcoholics: 40% to 45% of those who took LSD were still sober after a year. [Then] in 1970, President Richard Nixon ... classified hallucinogenics as Schedule I drugs -- the most restrictive category. [Fast forward to today and] MAPS is in the final phase of a gold-standard study administering MDMA [Ecstasy] to 300 people with severe PTSD. Results of the second phase showed 68% of the people no longer met the criteria for PTSD at a 12-month follow-up; before the study they had suffered from treatment-resistant PTSD for an average of 17.8 years. The results are so positive that in January the FDA declared MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD a "Breakthrough Therapy." Perhaps one day soon a trip to the therapist will include a trip into your mind, and hopefully, a quicker path to healing.

Note: The full article at the link above gives a concise, yet thorough survey of the use of psychedelics for healing and growth over the years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the powerful healing potentials of some psychedelics from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become 'end-to-end pain provider,' lawsuit alleges
2019-01-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/health/purdue-pharma-unredacted-lawsuit/index....

Pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP secretly pursued a plan, dubbed "Project Tango," to become "an end-to-end pain provider" by selling both opioids and drugs to treat opioid addiction, all while owners on the board - members of one of America's richest families - reaped more than $4 billion in opioid profits, according to a lawsuit newly unredacted. The suit says the company and its owners, the Sackler family ... engaged in a decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true: that the highly addictive drugs were resulting in overdoses and deaths. Purdue examined selling overdose antidotes, including Narcan, as "complementary" products to the same doctors to whom it sold its opioids, the lawsuit claims, and although the company maintained a ledger of doctors it suspected of inappropriate opioid prescriptions and other forms of abuse, dubbed "Region Zero," it continued to collect revenue from those doctors. The Sacklers paid themselves more than $4 billion in opioid profits between April 2008 and 2018. In 2017, there were 47,600 opioid-linked drug fatalities in the United States. The unredacted complaint also says consulting firm McKinsey & Co. played a crucial role in advising the company on how to push its product on doctors and boost its profits.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


New book chronicles how America's opioid industry operated like a drug cartel
2022-08-02, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/08/02/1115003825/american-cart...

It's estimated that more than 107,000 people in the United States died due to opioid overdoses in 2021. Washington Post journalist Scott Higham notes it's "the equivalent of a 737 Boeing crashing and burning and killing everybody on board every single day." In the new book, American Cartel, Higham and co-author Sari Horwitz make the case that the pharmaceutical industry operated like a drug cartel, with manufacturers at the top; wholesalers in the middle; and pharmacies at the level of "street dealers." The companies collaborated with each other — and with lawyers and lobbyists — to create legislation that protected their industry, even as they competed for market share. "It really is the companies that run the show," Higham says. "People were dying by the thousands while these companies were lobbying members of Congress ... to pass legislation and to lobby members of the Department of Justice and try to slow down the DEA enforcement efforts." Big pharma fought to create legislation that would limit the DEA's ability to go after drug wholesalers. The efforts were effective; more than 100 billion pills were manufactured, distributed and dispensed between 2006 and 2014. Meanwhile, both federal and state DEA agents are frustrated by the ways in which their enforcement efforts have been curtailed. Right now there are 40,000 Americans who are in jail on marijuana charges. And not one executive of a Fortune 500 company involved in the opioid trade has been charged with a crime.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry from reliable major media sources.


The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make
2018-03-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/11/health/prescription-opioid-payments-eprise/ind...

As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money - and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. The CNN/Harvard analysis looked at 2014 and 2015, during which time more than 811,000 doctors wrote prescriptions to Medicare patients. Of those, nearly half wrote at least one prescription for opioids. Fifty-four percent of those doctors - more than 200,000 physicians - received a payment from pharmaceutical companies that make opioids. Among doctors in the top 25th percentile of opioid prescribers by volume, 72% received payments. Among those in the top fifth percentile, 84% received payments. Among the very biggest prescribers ... 95% received payments. On average, doctors whose opioid prescription volume ranked among the top 5% nationally received twice as much money from the opioid manufacturers, compared with doctors whose prescription volume was in the median. Pharmaceutical company payments to doctors are not unique to opioids. Drug companies pay doctors billions of dollars for various services. In 2015, 48% of physicians received some pharmaceutical payment. The CNN and Harvard findings are in line with other studies suggesting that money from drug companies does influence a doctor's prescribing habits.

Note: From 1999 to 2015, over 183,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in the US. A CBS article titled, "Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress" describes major regulatory failures that contributed to this crisis. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The governments struggle to hold opioid manufacturers accountable
2017-04-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/dea-mallinckrodt/?utm_...

To combat an escalating opioid epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration trained its sights in 2011 on Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, one of the nations largest manufacturers of the highly addictive generic painkiller oxycodone. It was the first time the DEA had targeted a manufacturer of opioids for alleged violations of laws designed to prevent diversion of legal narcotics to the black market. Ultimately, the DEA and federal prosecutors would contend that the company ignored its responsibility to report suspicious orders as 500 million of its pills ended up in Florida between 2008 and 2012. Investigators alleged in internal documents that the companys lack of due diligence could have resulted in nearly 44,000 federal violations and exposed it to $2.3 billion in fines. But six years later ... the government has taken no legal action against Mallinckrodt. Instead, the company has reached a tentative settlement. Under the proposal, which remains confidential, Mallinckrodt would agree to pay a $35 million fine and admit no wrongdoing. Mallinckrodts response was that everyone knew what was going on in Florida but they had no duty to report it, according to an internal summary of the case prepared by federal prosecutors. The Post reported in October that the DEAs civil and administrative enforcement efforts against the mammoth wholesale distributors that deliver painkillers to pharmacies stalled in the face of a stepped-up lobbying campaign by the drug industry.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Opioid epidemic: ex-DEA official says Congress is protecting drug makers
2016-10-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/31/opioid-epidemic-dea-official-...

A former top Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official has accused Congress of putting pharmaceutical company profits ahead of public health in the battle to combat the USs prescription opioid epidemic. Joseph Rannazzisi, head of the DEA office responsible for preventing prescription medicine abuse until last year, said drug companies and their lobbyists have a stranglehold on Congress to protect a $9bn a year trade in opioid painkillers claiming the lives of nearly 19,000 people a year. Rannazzisi ... said the drug industry engineered recent legislation limiting the DEAs powers to act against pharmacies endangering lives by dispensing disproportionately large numbers of opioids. He also accused lobbyists ... of whipping up opposition to new guidelines for doctors intended to reduce the prescribing of the painkillers. Charges that Congress is too beholden to pharmaceutical companies have been levelled for years. But ... the influence on opioid policies is particularly disturbing because so many lives are being lost. Industry groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying to stave off measures to reduce prescriptions and therefore sales of opioid painkillers. Among the most influential drug industry groups is the Pain Care Forum, co-founded by a top executive of Purdue Pharma the manufacturer of the opioid which unleashed the addiction epidemic, OxyContin. It spent $740m lobbying Congress and state legislatures over the past decade.

Note: See also a Washington Post article for more. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering.


Portugals radical drugs policy is working. Why hasnt the world copied it?
2017-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-i...

When the drugs came, they hit all at once. It was the 80s, and by the time one in 10 people had slipped into the depths of heroin use - bankers, university students, carpenters, socialites, miners - Portugal was in a state of panic. In 2001 ... Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them. The opioid crisis soon stabilised, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. HIV infection plummeted from an all-time high in 2000 of 104.2 new cases per million to 4.2 cases per million in 2015. Portugals remarkable recovery ... could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs. Portugals policy rests on three pillars: one, that theres no such thing as a soft or hard drug, only healthy and unhealthy relationships with drugs; two, that an individuals unhealthy relationship with drugs often conceals frayed relationships with loved ones, with the world around them, and with themselves; and three, that the eradication of all drugs is an impossible goal. In spite of Portugals tangible results, other countries have been reluctant to follow.

Note: Portugal's successful policy has contributed to public health outcomes that starkly contrast US trends.


FDA medical adviser: 'Congress is owned by pharma'
2019-03-13, Yahoo! News
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/congress-big-pharma-money-123757664.html

Pharmaceutical companies are under the spotlight with congressional hearings on the cost of drug prices and allegations of the industrys role in the opioid crisis. Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist ... and chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA. Despite many politicians, particularly declared presidential candidates, beginning to speak out against big pharma, Brown does not think that anything will come out of it because Congress is owned by pharma. The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year, he [said]. In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. Thats a ton of money. OpenSecrets, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, tracks money in U.S. politics. It ranked the top 20 members of the House and the Senate that have received the most campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry. Kevin McCarthy, now the House minority leader after midterms, received ... a total of $380,350 in campaign contributions, with a large sum coming from pharma companies. Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA, Brown said. If the FDA isnt going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesnt matter who the president is because its really about Congress.

Note: Learn more on how big Pharma controls politicians in this very well researched video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


‘It’s Huge, It’s Historic, It’s Unheard of’: Drug Overdose Deaths Spike
2021-07-14, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/07/14/upshot/drug-overdose-deaths.html

As Covid raged, so did the country’s other epidemic. Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 to a record 93,000, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s the largest single-year increase recorded. The deaths rose in every state but two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, with pronounced increases in the South and West. Several grim records were set: the most drug overdose deaths in a year; the most deaths from opioid overdoses; the most overdose deaths from stimulants like methamphetamine; the most deaths from the deadly class of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls. In recent years, annual drug overdose deaths had already eclipsed the peak yearly deaths from car crashes, gun violence or the AIDS epidemic. The death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 375,000 last year, the largest American mortality event in a century, but drug deaths were experienced disproportionately among the young. In total, the 93,000 deaths cost Americans about 3.5 million years of life, according to a New York Times analysis. By comparison, coronavirus deaths in 2020 were responsible for about 5.5 million years of life. The pandemic itself undoubtedly contributed to the surge in overdose deaths, with disruption to outreach and treatment facilities and increased social isolation. Overdose deaths reached a peak nationally in the spring of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic’s most severe period of shutdowns and economic contraction.

Note: This is one of the many, sad but predictable consequences of the lockdown. Note also that the NY Times blames it on the pandemic never once mentioning it was the consequences of the lockdown much more than the pandemic itself that caused these many deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.


One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana
2016-07-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/13/one-striking-chart-sho...

Painkiller abuse and overdose are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. When medical marijuana is available, pain patients are increasingly choosing pot over powerful and deadly prescription narcotics. Now a new study [provides] clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdoses. Researchers at the University of Georgia scoured the database of all prescription drugs paid for under Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. In the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. They found that, in medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year. Estimating the cost savings to Medicare from the decreased prescribing, [the study] found that about $165 million was saved in the 17 medical marijuana states in 2013. The estimated annual Medicare prescription savings would be nearly half a billion dollars if all 50 states were to implement similar programs.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and an increasing number of deaths are caused by prescription opioid overdose in the US each year. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Banks Pressure Health Care Firms to Raise Prices on Critical Drugs, Medical Supplies for Coronavirus
2020-03-19, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-vaccine-medical-supplies-pric...

Investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors who invest in health care companies. Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. Executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar previously served as president of the U.S. division of drug giant Eli Lilly and on the board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug lobby group. During a congressional hearing ... Azar rejected the notion that any vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 should be set at an affordable price. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” said Azar. “The priority is to get vaccines and therapeutics. Price controls won’t get us there.” The initial $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill passed in early March ... contained a provision that prevents the government from delaying the introduction of any new pharmaceutical to address the crisis over affordability concerns. The legislative text was shaped, according to reports, by industry lobbyists.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Yoga and Veterans: A Different Kind of Warrior
2019-01-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/us/yoga-veterans.html

To casual observers of either military service or the practice of yoga, the path from Oorah to Om may not seem obvious. But the intersection of yogi and veteran is natural if unexpected. Many members of the military now often include yoga ... as an element of their workout routine, and veterans turn to the practice for therapeutic applications. The Department of Veterans Affairs has successfully used yoga to help treat opioid addiction and post-traumatic stress. A lot of vets have post-traumatic stress, said Thierry Chiapello, who served in the Marines and now teaches yoga at the National Defense University in Washington. By lengthening the exhalation of breath, this gets people out of those fight-or-flight instincts that drain you, he continued, putting them in a mode of rest and recovery that definitely is associated with less aggressive behaviors. Christian Allaire experiences the service-driven life of yoga through his work for the Veterans Yoga Project, which provides yoga to roughly 1,000 veterans and their families per week as well as trains prospective teachers. We will have four or five people in a conference room at a V.A., he said. There might be an Iraq war vet in his 20s, a Korean War vet in his 80s, some can barely move, some may be missing limbs and the teachers job is to create space. Maybe all they can do is raise their hands above their heads, but we are creating a ritual.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The definitive guide to what experts know about the effects of marijuana use
2017-01-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/01/13/the-definitive-guide-t...

As eight states plus the District of Columbia have moved to fully legalize recreational marijuana, debates on the merits of legalization have focused on the effects of marijuana use on individuals and society. The National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering have brought a great deal of clarity to the situation with an encyclopedic report summarizing pretty much everything researchers know (and don't know) about the health effects of marijuana use. For the 395-page report, a team of dozens of drug policy experts at some of the nation's most prestigious universities analyzed 24,000 scientific papers to arrive at more than 100 conclusions regarding the effects of marijuana use. The committee found strong evidence showing marijuana is effective at treating chronic pain in adults. Given the current public health crisis involving tens of thousands of deaths annually because of painkiller overdoses, this is a potentially significant finding. The report also turned up strong evidence that marijuana is effective at treating nausea and vomiting, [as well as] muscle spasticity. The literature shows limited evidence that marijuana use is linked to the use of other substances. The report does not address the implications of these findings for current legalization debates. The researchers do, however, state emphatically that the current designation of marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance ... is one of the chief barriers to conducting more badly needed research.

Note: Big Pharma has been caught systematically bribing doctors to over-prescribe deadly painkillers, and an ex-DEA official has publicly accused Congress of helping drug makers avoid responsibility for their role in the US opioid epidemic. Meanwhile, more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


Feds Arrest 6 Former Insys Execs for Allegedly Bribing Doctors
2016-12-08, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2016/12/08/insys-execs-charged-bribing-doctors-fentanyl/

FBI agents arrested former Insys Therapeutics CEO Michael Babich and five other former company executives on Thursday for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe an extremely addictive opioid painkiller to patients who didnt need it. The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that the executives took part in a nationwide conspiracy to give healthcare providers kickbacks in exchange for the improper prescribing of Subsys - an opioid medication containing the highly addictive substance fentanyl, which is considered even more dangerous than painkillers like Vicodin. Subsys is meant to provide pain relief to cancer patients who are going through particularly excruciating pain episodes. Its reserved for these neediest of patients due to its potency and addictive qualities. But federal prosecutors allege that Babich and his co-conspirators doled out kickbacks to doctors who prescribed the drug even to non-cancer patients, and even set up a special reimbursement unit to sway insurance companies and pharmacy benefits managers to provide coverage for these non-authorized uses. The charges range from racketeering to conspiracy to mail and wire fraud. The FBIs actions come in the wake of a newly invigorated federal effort to tackle the prescription painkiller epidemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 165,000 Americans since 1999.

Note: These charges come on the heels of an ex-DEA official's public accusation that Congress has been helping drug makers avoid responsibility for their role in the US opioid epidemic. How many deaths and ruined lives are being caused by greedy executives and the politicians in their pockets? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


OxyContin's Reformulation Linked to Rising Suicides by Children
2023-12-04, Reason
https://reason.com/2023/12/04/oxycontins-reformulation-linked-to-rising-suici...

In 2010, Purdue Pharma replaced the original version of OxyContin, an extended-release oxycodone pill, with a reformulated product that was much harder to crush for snorting or injection. The reformulation of OxyContin was instead associated with an increase in deaths involving illicit opioids and, ultimately, an overall increase in fatal drug overdoses. Researchers ... found that death rates rose fastest in states where reformulation would have had the biggest impact. A new study by RAND Corporation senior economist David Powell extends those findings by showing that the reformulation of OxyContin also was associated with rising suicides among children and teenagers. The root cause of such perverse effects was the substitution that occurred after the old version of OxyContin was retired. Nonmedical users turned to black-market alternatives that were more dangerous because their potency was highly variable and unpredictable—a hazard that was compounded by the emergence of illicit fentanyl as a heroin booster and substitute. The fallout from the reformulation of OxyContin is one example of a broader tendency: Interventions aimed at reducing the harm caused by substance abuse frequently have the opposite effect. Based on interstate differences in nonmedical use of OxyContin prior to 2010, Powell estimates that "the reformulation of OxyContin can explain 49% of the rise in child suicides."

Note: More than 107,000 people in the United States died due to opioid overdoses in 2021. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


They Were Addicted to Opioids. Now Theyre Running the New York Marathon.
2018-11-01, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/nyregion/marathon-opioid-recovery-odyssey-...

Ryan Stevens sat on the edge of a concrete balustrade in Central Park after finishing three laps around the reservoir. She and her fellow runners [are] from Odyssey House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Ms. Stevens, who is 36 and lives in the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx, was prepping for Sundays New York City Marathon her fourth, she said as a member of a unique group of competitors: former drug users who turned to running as part of their recovery from opioid addiction. Ms. Stevens said she grew up in Rhode Island and became addicted to her mothers prescription opioids at 22. That opened the door to ecstasy, cocaine and crystal meth. She completed an inpatient residential program at Odyssey House in June. Running, she said, has been central to her recovery. The 45 runners on the Odyssey House team who are planning to run New Yorks 26.2-mile trek include 19 current clients. The rest are supporters and alumni. John Tavolacci, Odyssey Houses chief operating officer, said he has run 22 marathons. He started the running group in 2001 as a supplement to treatment, based on a strong belief that running can be effective in helping overcome addiction. He has watched the Odyssey House team build self-esteem among participants, create a cooperative environment, and fill time for runners that otherwise might have been spent on negative pursuits.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal criminal charges related to nation's opioid crisis
2020-11-30, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/24/us/purdue-pharma-oxycontin-guilty-plea/index.html

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges related to the company's role in creating the nation's opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma board chairman Steve Miller pleaded guilty on behalf of the company during a virtual federal court hearing in front of US District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo. The counts include one of dual-object conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and two counts of conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The plea deal announced in October includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical manufacturer, including a criminal fine of $3.544 billion and an additional $2 billion in criminal forfeiture, according to a Department of Justice press release. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2018, just one year of the opioid crisis, and about 70% of those deaths were caused by prescription or illicit opioids like OxyContin. Several civil lawsuits against Purdue Pharma related to the opioid crisis are still ongoing as the company undergoes bankruptcy proceedings. The Plaintiffs' Executive Committee in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation Multi-District Litigation called Purdue Pharma's guilty plea "long overdue." "Their illegal and profit-seeking actions were egregious. It is important to note, however, that they are just one company in one part of the larger opioid supply chain," [the plaintiffs'] attorneys ... said.

Note: The company pays huge fines for the deaths of countless thousands, yet the CEO and others responsible face no legal charges. Where is the deterrent for this egregious behavior? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Our dangerous fear of pain
2019-11-27, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/11/27/our-dangerous-fear-pain/?ar...

One of the first things I learned about pain was its value. I was a third-year medical student in 1976. We were ... encouraged to listen carefully to the patients experience of pain, the timing, the duration and any factors that made it better or worse. Forty years later, our concept of pain couldnt be more different. Instead of learning from pain, we now regard it as an illness in and of itself. Insurance companies, health-care providers and drugmakers have all worked to increase the publics fear of pain, leading us to see it as something to be treated, eliminated, banished never lived with or accommodated or managed lest it destroy us. They turned our natural fear into big business; our fee-for-service system has multiplied treatments based primarily on the financial rewards for pharmaceutical companies, doctors and hospitals. That attitude shift is perhaps the most overlooked explanation for an opioid crisis that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. A healthy fear of pain ... protects us from injury and reminds us to allow time for healing. But otherwise, the fear of pain, and the belief that a pain-free existence is optimal or even possible, has been a catastrophe for patients. Before the opioid revolution, doctors understood that pain was important to keeping us safe, to be lived with and managed. Even if this meant we bore frequent episodes of discomfort, that was better than the nationwide crisis America faces today. Life isnt pain free. If we want to end the epidemic of addiction, we need to relearn that lesson.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma to pay $270 million to settle historic Oklahoma opioid lawsuit
2019-03-26, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/health/purdue-pharma-oklahoma-opioid-lawsuit-s...

Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay $270 million to settle a historic lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general, who accused the OxyContin maker of aggressively marketing the opioid painkiller and fueling a drug epidemic that left thousands dead in the state. The settlement comes after Purdue [sought] to delay the start of the trial, which is scheduled for May 28. Attorney General Mike Hunter said ... that $102.5 million of the settlement would be used to help establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University. The company will also provide $20 million of addiction treatment and opioid rescue medications to the center. A remaining $12.5 million from the settlement will be used directly to help cities and counties with the opioid crisis. The Sackler family, who founded and own Purdue Pharma, will also contribute $75 million over the next five years to the treatment and research center. The lawsuit was brought by Hunter against some of the nation's leading makers of opioid pain medications, alleging that deceptive marketing over the past decade fueled the epidemic in the state. Hunter has said the defendants - Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and others - deceived the public into believing that opioids were safe for extended use. The settlement was only with Purdue Pharma, and the other defendants are still scheduled to go to trial. Thirty-six states have brought cases against Purdue and other opioid drugmakers.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Revolving door redux: The DEA’s recently departed No. 2 returns to a Big Pharma consulting firm
2023-09-20, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/dea-opioids-fentanyl-cocaine-drugs-pharmaceutical-...

Louis Milione retired from the DEA a second time this summer amid reporting by The Associated Press on potential conflicts caused by his prior consulting for the pharmaceutical industry. Less than three months later, Milione again landed a plum job at Guidepost Solutions, a New York-based firm hired by some of the same companies he had been tasked with regulating when he returned to the DEA in 2021. Milione had spent four years at Guidepost prior to his return, leveraging his extensive experience and contacts from a 21-year DEA career. Milione is the most senior of a slew of DEA officials to have traded their badge and gun for a globe-trotting consulting job. His career stands out for two cycles through the revolving door between government and industry, raising questions about the potential impact on the DEA’s mission to police drug companies blamed for tens of thousands of American overdose deaths. Milione’s private-sector clientele also included Morris & Dickson Co., the nation’s fourth-largest wholesale drug distributor, as it tried to stave off DEA sanctions for disregarding thousands of suspicious, high-volume orders. The DEA allowed the company to continue shipping drugs for nearly four years after a judge recommended its license be revoked for “cavalier disregard” of rules aimed at preventing opioid abuse. It was not until AP began asking questions this spring that the DEA moved to finally strip the Shreveport, Louisiana-based company of its license to distribute highly addictive painkillers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry from reliable major media sources.


The world’s biggest PR firm claims to be an expert on trust – but is it?
2023-01-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/15/edelman-pr-firm-davos-trust

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the public relations juggernaut Edelman will publish the latest edition of its “trust barometer”, an annual survey that purports to measure whether people around the world trust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. There’s just one problem: even as Edelman promotes its brand and pursues clients with stern warnings about the importance of trust, critics charge the company appears reluctant to follow its own advice. The firm’s clients have ranged from ExxonMobil to the Saudi government and members of the Sackler family, the former owners of the opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma. Successful PR firms do more than simply promote and spin – they actually infuse the public discourse with their clients’ perspectives. “These companies are trying not just to manage trust, but to make trust,” [media studies professor Melissa] Aronczyk said. “And if they themselves are the owners of that survey, or barometer, or whatever it is, then, of course, they become the proprietors of that kind of value.” Edelman’s most effective case study might be the firm itself. It has managed to cultivate a reputation for trust even as its business model appears regularly to contradict its advice and its CEO’s admonitions. Over the past four years Edelman has signed about $9.6m worth of deals with the government of Saudi Arabia and companies controlled by the regime, while simultaneously urging businesses to stand up for human rights.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


US health agency accused of bowing to drug industry with new opioid guidance
2022-12-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/dec/17/cdc-accused-opioid-guidelines...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been accused of bowing to drug industry pressure after releasing new guidelines that doctors say put lives at risk by rowing back on warnings about the dangers of opioid prescribing. The latest CDC guidelines have caused controversy after dropping specific limits on dosages and lengths of prescribing from a key summary of recommendations used by physicians. Dr Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, sees the drug industry’s hand behind the change. Kolodny has testified against opioid makers in legal actions over their part in driving the opioid epidemic by pushing sales with false claims about their safety and effectiveness. They include Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, a powerful narcotic pill that kickstarted the US’s opioid epidemic alongside the company’s marketing strategy to see the drugs widely prescribed. Kolody said ... that the drug industry calculated how much the 2016 CDC guidelines would cost it if doctors followed the recommendations to limit prescribing of high dosage pills. “The highest dosage products have had the highest profit margin. It only costs a few extra pennies to make the higher dosage pill, but retail it’s almost double what they get per pill or prescription. So the industry fought very hard to block the release of the 2016 guideline and when that failed they did everything they could to make the guidelines appear controversial. And that worked,” he said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.


An onslaught of pills, hundreds of thousands of deaths: Who is accountable?
2019-07-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/an-onslaught-of-pills-hundreds-...

The origin, evolution and astonishing scale of Americas catastrophic opioid epidemic just got a lot clearer. The drug industry - the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers - found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets. This has been broadly known for years, but this past week, the more precise details became public for the first time. The revelatory data comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). This really shows a relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors: They were all in it together, said Jim Geldhof, a retired DEA employee. Were seeing a lot of internal stuff that basically confirms ... that it was all about greed, and all about money. The data shows a trend in pill distribution that, according to the lawsuit plaintiffs, cant be passed off as reasonable therapeutic medical treatment. The industry shipped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills across the country from 2006 through 2012, the period covered by the ARCOS data released this past week. These pills didnt flow in a steady stream but were more like a flash flood, spiking from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma accused of 'corrupting' WHO to boost global opioid sales
2019-05-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/purdue-pharma-opioid-world-he...

Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that kickstarted the US opioid epidemic, corruptly influenced the World Health Organization in order to boost painkiller sales across the globe, according to a report by members of Congress. An investigation by Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers, who represent districts in Massachusetts and Kentucky hard hit by the US opioid epidemic, accuses Purdue of replicating its false marketing claims about the safety and effectiveness of opioids to change WHO prescribing guidelines in an attempt to expand foreign markets for its drugs. The web of influence we uncovered paints a picture of a public health organization that has been corrupted by the opioid industry, said Clark. The WHO appears to be lending the opioid industry its voice and credibility, and as a result, a trusted public health organization is trafficking dangerous misinformation that could lead to a global opioid epidemic. The report ... accuses Purdue of using pharma-funded organizations and specialists to influence the writing of WHO policy to encourage much wider prescribing of addictive high-strength opioids across the globe. It said that, as a result, WHO guidelines are serving as marketing materials for Purdue. [The] report alleges two WHO guidelines ... contain dangerously misleading and, in some instances, outright false claims about the safety and efficacy of prescription opioids. Alarmingly, these guidelines mirror Purdues marketing strategies to increase prescriptions and expand sales, the report found.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


As Drug Crisis Mounted, Sacklers Gave Millions to Group That Advises on Opioids
2023-04-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/23/health/sacklers-opioids-national-academies...

For the past decade, the White House and Congress have relied on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a renowned advisory group, to help shape the federal response to the opioid crisis, whether by convening expert panels or delivering policy recommendations and reports. Yet officials with the National Academies have kept quiet about one thing: their decision to accept roughly $19 million in donations from members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug OxyContin that is notorious for fueling the opioid epidemic. The opioid crisis has led to hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths, spawned lawsuits and forced other institutions to publicly distance themselves from Sackler money or to acknowledge potential conflicts of interest from ties to Purdue Pharma. The National Academies has largely avoided such scrutiny as it continues to advise the government on painkillers. Institutions that more publicly examined their use of Sackler donations include Tufts University, which released a review of possible conflicts of interest related to pain research education funded by Purdue Pharma. Concerns noted in the report included a senior Purdue executive’s delivering lectures to students each semester. The World Health Organization in 2019 retracted two guidance documents on opioid policy after lawmakers aired concerns about ties to opioid makers, including a Purdue subsidiary, among report authors and funders.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Federal Prisons Were Told to Provide Addiction Medications. Instead, They Punish People Who Use Them
2022-12-12, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2022/12/12/suboxone-federal-prison-opioid-...

Timothy York knows what works to treat his decades-long opioid addiction: Suboxone, a medication that effectively quiets cravings. In 2019, he was relieved to learn that the federal Bureau of Prisons was starting a program to expand access to Suboxone. He’s still waiting. In the meantime, he’s been punished for using Suboxone without a prescription. Last year, after York, 46, was caught with the medication, he spent a month in solitary confinement and had his visitor privileges revoked for a year. York is not alone. The Marshall Project spoke to more than 20 people struggling with addictions in federal prison, and they described the dire consequences of being unable to safely access a treatment that Congress has instructed prisons to provide. Some have overdosed. The lack of Suboxone treatment comes amid a rise in drug-related deaths behind bars. A variety of substances are routinely smuggled into prisons and jails through mail, drone drops, visitors or corrections officers and other staff. In the last two decades, federal data shows that fatal overdoses increased by more than 600% inside prisons and more than 200% inside jails. Forty-seven incarcerated people died of overdoses in federal prison from 2019 through 2021. The data does not specify how many of these overdose deaths were caused by opioids and could have been prevented by medications like Suboxone. During the same period, correctional staff administered Narcan — a drug that reverses opioid overdoses — almost 600 times.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


“American Cartel” A Conversation with Alex Gibney, Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham
2022-07-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live/2022/07/12/transcript-ame...

Today it’s my great pleasure to introduce two Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalists, Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham, who are going to discuss their new book, "American Cartel." We're talking about companies that create and fuel the opioid crisis. We've heard this story about the Sacklers and indeed the Sacklers have been identified, and if criminal charges haven't been brought at least they've been vilified in the press. But ... this goes way beyond the Sacklers. This is not just the story of one bad apple. "It's so much bigger than that," [said Horwitz]. "We found, in our two-year investigation ... a constellation of companies that fuel the deadliest epidemic, drug epidemic, in American history. Some of these companies are some of the largest in this country. Some we've heard of. They are household names - Walgreens, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson. We found internal emails from these companies where the people in the companies were laughing at the addicts. They were mocking them. Meanwhile, the drug companies, they are smart. They decide to lure away the best and the brightest if they can from the DEA and the Justice Department to help them as they are selling opioids, and they are very successful. They hired dozens of people from DEA and the Justice Department to work for these companies. So again, these are the people who are trying to protect us, working for the DEA and the Justice Department. They are lured away to the companies who are selling addictive painkillers that are killing people."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Lawyers seek to halt Purdue Pharma political contributions
2020-07-11, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/0f5546a3fb25e50f029bdd1ec8a4424a

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma should not be able to make any more political contributions without a judges permission, lawyers for its creditors said in a court filing. The issue came up this week after it was reported that the company, which has a long history of influencing policymakers, made contributions to national associations representing state attorneys general and governors. The money was sent after Purdue entered bankruptcy protection last year in an effort to settle thousands of lawsuits accusing it of helping spark an opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has contributed to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S.. State attorneys general are among those trying to negotiate a nationwide settlement. The committee of creditors that asked for recipients to return the money to Purdue said the contributions represent a conflict. The Political Contributions $185,000 in donations to associations whose members include the very public servants with whom the Debtors are attempting to negotiate a consensual resolution of these cases are precisely the sort of transaction that demand close scrutiny, they said in a filing. In 2016, an investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that Purdue and other companies in the opioid industry, along with the advocacy groups largely funded by the industry, spent more than $880 million from 2006 through 2015 to influence state and local governments. Those efforts helped fight off restrictions on drug prescriptions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Rudy Giuliani won deal for OxyContin maker to continue sales of drug behind opioid deaths
2018-05-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/22/rudy-giuliani-opioid-epidemic...

The US government missed the opportunity to curb sales of the drug that kickstarted the opioid epidemic when it secured the only criminal conviction against the maker of OxyContin a decade ago. Purdue Pharma hired Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor and now Donald Trumps lawyer, to head off a federal investigation in the mid-2000s into the companys marketing of the powerful prescription painkiller at the centre of an epidemic estimated to have claimed at least 300,000 lives. While Giuliani was not able to prevent the criminal conviction over Purdues fraudulent claims for OxyContins safety and effectiveness, he was able to reach a deal to avoid a bar on Purdue doing business with the federal government which would have killed a large part of the multibillion-dollar market for the drug. The former New York mayor also secured an agreement that greatly restricted further prosecution of the pharmaceutical company and kept its senior executives out of prison. The US attorney who led the investigation, John Brownlee, has ... expressed surprise that Purdue did not face stronger action. Purdue is now facing ... civil lawsuits [in] New York, Texas and five other states. But Brownlee was the first, and so far only, prosecutor to secure a criminal conviction against the drug maker. Brownlees office discovered training videos in which reps acted out selling the drug using the false claims. This was ... pushed from the highest levels of the company, said Brownlee.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma.


Drug company founder John Kapoor arrested for alleged opioid scheme
2017-10-26, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/drug-company-founder-john-kapoor-arrested-for-al...

Federal agents arrested the founder of a major drug company in an early-morning raid Thursday on charges stemming from an alleged scheme to get doctors to illegally prescribe a powerful opioid to patients who don't need it. John Kapoor ... is the billionaire founder and former CEO of the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. He faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and fraud. Kapoor is the most significant pharmaceutical executive to be criminally charged in response to the nationwide opioid crisis. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January but still serves on its board. The company makes a spray version of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid intended only for cancer patients. Authorities allege Insys marketed the drug as part of a scheme to get non-cancer doctors to prescribe it. Numerous physicians were allegedly paid bribes by the company to push the painkilling drug. Insys made 18,000 payments to doctors in 2016 that totaled more than $2 million. Headache doctors, back pain specialists and even a psychiatrist ... received thousands of dollars to promote the drug last year. Last December, six other Insys executives were indicted on federal charges in Boston in connection with the alleged scheme to bribe doctors to unnecessarily prescribe the painkilling drug.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and health.


Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress
2017-10-15, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-dea-agent-opioid-crisis-fueled-by-drug-indust...

In the midst of the worst drug epidemic in American history, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to keep addictive opioids off U.S. streets was derailed - that according to Joe Rannazzisi, one of the most important whistleblowers ever interviewed by 60 Minutes. Rannazzisi ran the DEA's Office of Diversion Control, the division that regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical industry. He says the opioid crisis was allowed to spread - aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives. His greatest ire is reserved for the ... middlemen that ship the pain pills from manufacturers, like Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson to drug stores all over the country. Rannazzisi accuses the distributors of fueling the opioid epidemic. "This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors' offices, that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs," [said Rannazzisi]. In 2013, Joe Rannazzisi and his DEA investigators were trying to crack down. Then ... with the help of members of Congress, the drug industry began to quietly pave the way for legislation that essentially would strip the DEA of its ... ability to immediately freeze suspicious shipments of prescription narcotics to keep drugs off U.S. streets.

Note: See also this informative Washington Post article for more information on this sad topic. Lots more available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in pharmaceutical industry.


The Drug Industry's Triumph Over the DEA
2017-10-15, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/investigations/dea-drug-industry...

In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nations streets. By then, the opioid war had claimed 200,000 lives. Overdose deaths continue to rise. A handful of members of Congress, allied with the nations major drug distributors, prevailed upon the DEA and the Justice Department to agree to a more industry-friendly law. The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies, according to internal agency and Justice Department documents and an independent assessment. Political action committees representing the industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill. The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before, said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the DEAs division responsible for regulating the drug industry and led a decade-long campaign of aggressive enforcement until he was forced out of the agency in 2015. I mean, to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have. The DEA and Justice Department have denied or delayed more than a dozen requests filed by The Post and 60 Minutes under the Freedom of Information Act for public records that might shed additional light on the matter.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in pharmaceutical industry.


Many Doctors Get Goodies from Opioid Makers
2017-08-10, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/many-doctors-get-g...

About one out of every 12 U.S. doctors gets money, lunch or something else of value from companies that make opioid drugs, researchers reported Wednesday. Companies are spending much more time and effort marketing opioids to doctors than they are other, less addictive painkillers, the researchers found. They say their findings help explain why doctors have played such an important role in the opioid overuse epidemic. A large proportion of physicians received payments - one in 12 physicians overall, said Dr. Scott Hadland of the Boston Medical Center. Tens of millions of dollars were transferred for marketing purposes for opioids. In some cases they are money provided directly to physicians - for example, the speaking fees, the consultant fees and the honoraria. In other cases it is reimbursement for things like travel, Hadland said. Between 2013 and 2015, the team found 375,266 payments worth $46 million made to more than 68,000 doctors. The top 1 percent of physicians (681 of them) received 82.5 percent of total payments in dollars, the team wrote in their report. A study published last year found that physicians who accepted even one meal sponsored by a drug company were much more likely to prescribe a name-brand drug to patients later. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors are definitely helping drive the addiction crisis. The result is deadly. More than 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2015.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Industry money may taint advice from patient groups, regulators
2017-01-18, Fox News/Reuters
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/01/18/industry-money-may-taint-advice-from...

As a social worker, Susannah Rose referred clients with cancer to patient advocacy groups she trusted to dispense unbiased advice - until she heard the groups might be taking money from pharmaceutical companies. So she set out to investigate. Two-thirds of patient advocacy organizations reported receiving industry funding, Rose, now a bioethicist, finds in a new study. Her research was published ... in JAMA Internal Medicine along with other studies showing a host of ways pharmaceutical manufacturers appear to pay for influence. Rose and her colleagues identified 7,865 patient advocacy organizations in the U.S., most involving cancer and rare or genetic disorders. They surveyed a random sample of the organization's leaders. More than 67 percent of 245 patient advocacy groups reported receiving industry funding in the past year. Of those, nearly 12 percent reported that more than half their funding came from industry. When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drafted guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain in an effort to curtail a growing epidemic of abuse of the painkillers in 2015, nonprofit organizations stepped in to challenge the effort. The CDC postponed releasing the guidelines and solicited public comments for 30 days. Opioid manufacturers gave money to 45 of 158 patient advocacy and professional organizations that commented on the proposed guidelines. Organizations with funding from opioid manufacturers were significantly more likely to oppose them, researchers found.

Note: It's interesting to note that apparently no other major media picked up this Reuters article. Drug company executives have recently been caught bribing doctors to over-prescribe opioids, and ex-DEA official has publicly accused Congress of helping drug makers avoid responsibility for their role in the US opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


As need grows for painkiller overdose treatment, companies raise prices
2016-07-17, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-naloxone-sales-20160707-snap-story.html

Naloxone works by blocking the effect that painkillers and heroin have in the brain and reversing the slowed breathing and unconsciousness that come with an overdose. But as the demand for naloxone has risen - overdose deaths now total 130 every day, or roughly the capacity of a Boeing 737 - the drugs price has soared. Not long ago, a dose of the decades-old generic drug cost little more than a dollar. Now the lowest available price is nearly 20 times that. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. That was 50% more deaths than from highway accidents ... and more overdose deaths than any year on record. The overdose crisis has its roots in the 1990s, when doctors began prescribing more and higher doses of painkillers [in response] to campaigns, often funded behind the scenes by drug makers, that urged doctors to prescribe the strongest painkillers not just to cancer patients and others in severe pain, but also to those with milder pain. The narcotic manufacturers funding of those campaigns ... came to light through evidence unearthed in lawsuits and investigative journalism reports. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids such as oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled. During that same time, deaths from those drugs quadrupled. The lethal side effects of that booming prescription painkiller market has now sparked a moneymaking opportunity with naloxone.

Note: Tens of thousands of deaths are caused by prescription opioid overdose in the US each year. If Big Pharma sees this as an opportunity to profit, what does that say about the healthcare system?


Drug Overdose Deaths up for 11th Consecutive Year
2013-02-20, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/drug-overdose-deaths-11th-consecutive-...

Drug overdose deaths rose for the 11th straight year, federal data show, and most of them were accidents involving addictive painkillers despite growing attention to risks from these medicines. "The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gathered and analyzed the data. In 2010, the CDC reported, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths nationwide. Medicines, mostly prescription drugs, were involved in nearly 60 percent of overdose deaths that year, overshadowing deaths from illicit narcotics. The report [in the] Journal of the American Medical Association ... details which drugs were at play in most of the fatalities. As in previous recent years, opioid drugs which include OxyContin and Vicodin were the biggest problem, contributing to 3 out of 4 medication overdose deaths. Medication-related deaths accounted for 22,134 of the drug overdose deaths in 2010. Anti-anxiety drugs including Valium were among common causes of medication-related deaths, involved in almost 30 percent of them. Among the medication-related deaths, 17 percent were suicides. The report's data came from death certificates, which aren't always clear on whether a death was a suicide or a tragic attempt at getting high. Frieden said the data show a need for more prescription drug monitoring programs at the state level, and more laws shutting down "pill mills" doctor offices and pharmacies that over-prescribe addictive medicines.

Note: Over 38,000 drug deaths are more than the 32,000 automobile deaths in the US. This means that the risk of dying from drugs is now greater than the risk of car accidents. For lots more reliable information showing how the medical industry can actually be dangerous to your health, click here.


OxyContin's Deception Costs Firm $634M
2001-05-10, CBS News/Associated Press
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oxycontins-deception-costs-firm-634m/

Two days after agreeing to pay states nearly $20 million for falsely marketing OxyContin, the drug's maker, Perdue Pharma, and three current and former executives plead guilty to federal charges. The Stamford, Conn.-based maker of the powerful painkiller, and three of its current and former executives, pleaded guilty Thursday to misleading the public about OxyContin's risk of addiction. Purdue Pharma L.P., its president, top lawyer and former chief medical officer will pay $634.5 million in fines for claiming the drug was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other pain medications, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said. The plea agreement comes after the company agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and the District of Columbia to settle complaints that it encouraged physicians to overprescribe OxyContin. Even though the company was warned by health professionals, the media and members of its own sales force, "Perdue continued to push a fraudulent marketing campaign that promoted OxyContin as less addictive, less subject to abuse and less likely to cause withdrawal when they knew in fact that that was not true," Brownlee told CBS News correspondent Barry Bagnato. "Doctors are often approached right in their offices by pharmaceutical company sales reps dispensing information about one medication or another," said CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. "This case is a reminder to doctors not to believe everything they hear."

Note: The family which owns Purdue, maker of OxyContin, is among the 20 richest families in the U.S., thanks largely to sales of Oxycontin, which has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths, according to this article in Forbes. For more, see this revealing article. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and health.


McKinsey Opened a Door in Its Firewall Between Pharma Clients and Regulators
2022-04-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/13/business/mckinsey-purdue-fda-records.html

Jeff Smith, a partner with the influential consulting firm McKinsey & Company, accepted a highly sensitive assignment in December 2017. The opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma ... sought out Dr. Smith. His team reviewed business plans and evaluated new drugs that Purdue hoped would help move the company beyond the turmoil associated with OxyContin, its addictive painkiller that medical experts say helped to spark the opioid epidemic. But the corporate reorganization was not Dr. Smith’s only assignment. He was also helping the Food and Drug Administration overhaul its office that approves new drugs — the same office that would determine the regulatory fate of Purdue’s new line of proposed products. A review ... of internal McKinsey documents found that the firm repeatedly allowed employees who served pharmaceutical companies, including opioid makers, to also consult for the F.D.A., the drug industry’s primary government regulator. And, the documents show, McKinsey touted that inside access in pitches to private clients. In an email in 2014 to Purdue’s chief executive, a McKinsey consultant highlighted the firm’s work for the F.D.A. and stressed “who we know and what we know.” McKinsey also allowed employees advising Purdue to help shape materials that were intended for government officials and agencies, including a memo in 2018 prepared for Alex M. Azar II. References to the severity of the opioid crisis in a draft version of the memo ... were cut before it was sent to Mr. Azar.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry from reliable major media sources.


The Untold Story of Purdue Pharma’s Cozy Relationship With the American Medical Association
2021-08-05, Mother Jones
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/08/purdue-pharma-american-medical-a...

The American Medical Association’s new training on pain management arrived in the midst of a burgeoning crisis. It was September 2007, and doctors were prescribing enough opioid painkillers each year for every American adult to have a bottle of the addictive pills. Overdoses were at a historic high and showed no signs of slowing down. Just four months earlier, executives at Purdue Pharma had pleaded guilty to felony charges for misleading regulators and physicians about the dangers of OxyContin. In light of this news, one might have expected the AMA ... to bring attention to the crisis in its newly updated continuing education course on how to treat pain. Instead, the 12-module training suggested that doctors were still too tentative about prescribing narcotics. “The effectiveness of opioid therapy may be undermined by misconceptions about their risks, particularly risks associated with abuse and addiction,” read materials from one session. Down in the fine print, the AMA-branded course materials reveal that the training’s development and distribution was made possible by an educational grant from Purdue Pharma. By now, the story of how Purdue Pharma sowed the seeds for the overdose crisis is the stuff of history books. But the years of Purdue’s involvement with the AMA have been strangely absent from that narrative. Between 2002 and 2018, the AMA and the organization’s philanthropic arm, the AMA Foundation, received more than $3 million from Purdue Pharma.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Johnson & Johnson opioids helped create 'worst man-made public health crisis in history,' Oklahoma says in court
2019-05-28, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/johnson-johnson-opioids-helped-create-wo...

The first trial against a pharmaceutical opioid manufacturer started Tuesday in Oklahoma in what could be a precedent-setting case for hundreds of other claims around the country. The state's attorney general, Mike Hunter, began the day by accusing Johnson & Johnson of putting profits over responsibility and argued that the company was responsible for the "worst man-made public health crisis in the history of our state and country." In the multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the drugmaker, lawyers for the state argued that Johnson & Johnson knew about the addictive nature of opioids, but misled doctors by downplaying the risks of the drugs while touting its benefits. Brad Beckworth, a lawyer for Oklahoma, argued that Johnson & Johnson was motivated to increase sales on multiple fronts as both the manufacturer of the drugs Duragesic and Nucynta and as a supplier of the raw materials for other opioid manufacturers. He argued that a marketing push by Johnson & Johnson lead doctors to overprescribe opioids in Oklahoma. If you oversupply, people will die, Beckworth repeatedly said in his opening statement while showing email communications from Johnson & Johnson sales representatives. Oklahoma settled with two other drug manufacturers before Tuesdays opening statements. In March, Purdue Pharma settled for $270 million, and on Sunday, Teva Pharmaceuticals settled for $85 million, leaving Johnson & Johnson as the sole defendants in what could a monthslong bench trial.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Rising Physical Pain Is Linked to More ‘Deaths of Despair’
2023-01-30, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rising-physical-pain-is-linked-to-...

Roughly 110,000 Americans died from a drug overdose between February 2021 and February 2022. That figure is part of a larger troubling trend. Life expectancy in the U.S. fell in 2020 and again in 2021, after decades of progress. Deaths linked to alcohol, drugs, and suicide are a major part of that change. Overdoses, suicides and other “deaths of despair” ... have been climbing since the 1990s and may have accelerated in recent years. Losing a job, recovering from an accident or illness, and experiencing divorce or financial difficulties may trigger desperation. People may use drugs and alcohol to ease these uncomfortable mental states. Scientific evidence shows that one common denominator in this cycle of stress, anxiety, depression and substance abuse is physical pain. The relationship between despair and pain is multifaceted. As most people know from personal experience, physical pain increases psychological distress and anxiety. The reverse relationship is also possible: psychological distress can cause physical pain. When someone is in a negative mood, researchers have found, the brain areas that play a role in physical pain also engage. The opioid epidemic may be the most prominent example of how physical pain and despair interact. The misuse of painkillers, especially opioids, generates changes in the brain that trigger higher pain sensitivity, as well as greater tolerance of and addiction to these drugs. As a result, people are more likely to overdose on these medications.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


A Cesspool of a Dungeon: The Surging Population in Rural Jails
2019-12-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/us/rural-jails.html

The Hamblen County Jail has been described as a dangerously overcrowded cesspool of a dungeon, with inmates sleeping on mats in the hallways, lawyers forced to meet their clients in a supply closet and the people inside subjected to horrible conditions every day. Since 2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties such as Hamblen has skyrocketed. Like a lot of Appalachia, Morristown, Tenn. ... has been devastated by methamphetamine and opioid use. Residents who commit crimes to support their addiction pack the 255-bed jail, which had 439 inmates at the end of October. While jail populations have dropped 18 percent in urban areas since 2013, they have climbed 27 percent in rural areas during that same period. Almost everyone in the county jail is there because of charges related to addiction, said the sheriff, Esco Jarnagin. Defense lawyers have proposed other options to address the crisis, including a pilot program [that] would have allowed some low-risk defendants to avoid having to post bail. But judges rejected the proposal because of fears that defendants would flee, said Willie Santana ... who is now one of four lawyers in the Hamblen County public defenders office. The whole system is geared toward generating pleas and putting people in jail, he said. For many inmates, that means the jail has been a revolving door. More than three-quarters of the 850 new cases that Mr. Santana handled in the past year involved a client who had previously been incarcerated.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the courts and in the prison system.


The Sacklers, Who Made Billions From OxyContin, Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits
2021-09-01, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1031053251/sackler-family-immunity-purdue-phar...

Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication. Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic. "This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." The complex bankruptcy plan ... grants "releases" from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts. In return, they have agreed to pay roughly $4.3 billion, while also forfeiting ownership of Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers, who admit no wrongdoing and who by their own reckoning earned more than $10 billion from opioid sales, will remain one of the wealthiest families in the world. Critics of this bankruptcy settlement, meanwhile, said they would challenge Drain's confirmation because of the liability releases for the Sacklers. "This order is insulting to victims of the opioid epidemic who had no voice in these proceedings," said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Department of Justice urged Drain to reject the settlement. Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia also opposed the plan.

Note: Purdue Pharma spent $1.2 million on lobbying just before making this deal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Ad agency tied to Purdue Pharma settles opioid claims for $350 million
2024-02-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/02/01/opioids-oxycontin-purdue-pub...

An advertising agency that helped market the blockbuster painkiller OxyContin will pay $350 million to states ravaged by the nation’s opioid crisis. Attorneys general from multiple states alleged that Publicis Health developed “unfair and deceptive” marketing campaigns aimed at persuading doctors to prescribe the addictive drug for longer periods of time and at higher doses. The company’s client was Purdue Pharma, the Connecticut drugmaker accused in lawsuits of helping ignite the epidemic through aggressive marketing and sales of OxyContin. Publicis, a subsidiary of French ad giant Publicis Groupe, settled with 50 states and D.C. Under the agreements, Publicis Health will stop accepting work related to prescription opioids and must release thousands of internal documents chronicling its dealings with companies such as Purdue. It is the first settlement with an advertising agency connected to the opioid crisis, according to the New York attorney general’s office. “Publicis was responsible for creating advertisements and materials, such as pamphlets and brochures that promoted OxyContin as safe and unable to be abused, even though this claim was not true,” according to a news release from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Drug overdoses killed nearly 110,000 people in the United States in 2022, a record high, according to federal death statistics.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Law enforcement eyes opioid settlement cash for squad cars and body scanners
2023-10-20, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/10/20/1206326239/law-enforceme...

Policing expenses mount quickly: $18,000 for technology to unlock cellphones in Southington, Conn.; $2,900 for surveillance cameras and to train officers and canines in New Lexington, Ohio. And in other communities around the country, hundreds of thousands for vehicles, body scanners, and other equipment. State and local governments are turning to a new means to pay those bills: opioid settlement cash. This money — totaling more than $50 billion across 18 years — comes from national settlements with more than a dozen companies that made, sold, or distributed opioid painkillers, including Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, and Walmart, which were accused of fueling the epidemic that addicted and killed millions. In August, more than 200 researchers and clinicians delivered a call to action to government officials in charge of opioid settlement funds. "More policing is not the answer to the overdose crisis," they wrote. Years of research suggests law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives have exacerbated the problem. "Police activity is actually causing the very harms that police activity is supposed to be stemming," says Jennifer Carroll, an author of that study and an addiction policy researcher. In Louisiana ... 80% of settlement dollars are flowing to parish governments and 20% to sheriffs' departments. Over the lifetime of the settlements, sheriffs' offices in the state will receive more than $65 million — the largest direct allocation to law enforcement nationwide. And they do not have to account for how they spend it.

Note: Explore past news articles we've summarized on opioids, a crisis fueled by US drug companies and captured government agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


OxyContin Maker Purdue to Plead Guilty Over Opioid Practices, Deal Sparks Opposition
2020-10-21, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-10-21/oxycontin-maker-purd...

Purdue Pharma LP agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin, in a deal with U.S. prosecutors that effectively sidestepped paying billions of dollars in penalties and stopped short of criminally charging its executives or wealthy Sackler family owners. Prosecutors imposed significant penalties exceeding $8 billion against Purdue, though the lion's share will go largely unpaid. Purdue agreed to pay $225 million toward a $2 billion criminal forfeiture, with the Justice Department foregoing the rest if the company completes a bankruptcy reorganization dissolving itself and shifting assets to a "public benefit company," or similar entity, that steers the $1.775 billion unpaid portion to thousands of U.S. communities suing it over the opioid crisis. A $3.54 billion criminal fine and $2.8 billion civil penalty are likely to receive cents on the dollar as they compete with trillions of dollars of other claims from those communities and other creditors in Purdue's bankruptcy proceedings. Members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue agreed to pay a separate $225 million civil penalty for allegedly causing false claims for OxyContin to be made to government healthcare programs such as Medicare, according to court records. Neither the Sacklers nor any Purdue executives were criminally charged. Purdue reaped more than $30 billion from sales of OxyContin over the years, enriching Sackler family members while funneling illegal kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572 million for its role in Oklahomas opioid crisis
2019-08-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/johnson-and-johnson-is-responsible-for-...

A judge Monday found Johnson & Johnson responsible for fueling Oklahomas opioid crisis, ordering the health-care company to pay $572 million to remedy the devastation wrought by the epidemic on the state and its residents. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkmans landmark decision is the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of years of liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 1990s. More than 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999. With more than 40 states lined up to pursue similar claims against the pharmaceutical industry, the ruling ... could influence both sides strategies in the months and years to come. Plaintiffs attorneys around the country cheered the decision, saying they hoped it would be a model for an enormous federal lawsuit brought by nearly 2,000 cities, counties, Native American tribes and others scheduled to begin in Cleveland, Ohio, in October. Johnson & Johnsons products ... were a small part of the painkillers consumed in Oklahoma. But Hunter painted the company as an industry kingpin because two other companies it owned had grown, processed and supplied 60 percent of the ingredients in painkillers sold by most drug companies. At the root of this crisis was Johnson & Johnson, a company that literally created the poppy that became the source of the opioid crisis, the state charged. The state also said the health-care giant actively took part in ... an aggressive misinformation campaign.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


'They're drug dealers in Armani suits': executives draw focus amid US epidemic
2018-09-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/30/theyre-drug-dealers-in-armani...

The mayor of the West Virginia city that has come to symbolize Americas opioid epidemic has called for the jailing of pharmaceutical company executives he likens to street corner drug dealers. Steve Williams, mayor of ... a city ravaged by prescription pill and heroin addiction, said he wants to see executives face criminal prosecution, after it was revealed that a member of the family that made billions of dollars from the painkiller that unleashed the epidemic stands to profit further after he was granted a patent for an anti-addiction medicine. They are drug dealers in Armani suits, said Williams. The decisions that have been made within the pharmaceutical industry have ravaged our nation. In June, Massachusetts became the first state to sue individual executives and owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug, OxyContin, which kicked off the biggest drug epidemic in American history, estimated to be killing more than 115 people a day. The lawsuit seeks to recover the billions of dollars in profit banked by members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue. Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, accused the company and its officials of knowingly profiting from overdoses and death. Purdue Pharma and its executives built a multi-billion-dollar business based on deception and addiction. The more drugs they sold, the more money they made, she said in announcing the lawsuit.

Note: According to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


How corporate chiefs dodge lawsuits over sexual abuse and deadly products
2022-11-07, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/bankruptcy-tactics-releases/

Scandals brought down Harvey Weinstein’s movie studio and major opioid supplier Mallinckrodt. But their wealthy owners, directors and executives were granted lifetime immunity from related lawsuits in bankruptcy court — an overwhelmingly common tactic in major U.S. Chapter 11 cases, a Reuters review found. Such immunity grants have become a pervasive but little-understood feature of the U.S. bankruptcy system. The releases are now granted by judges in 9 of 10 major Chapter 11 cases. The lawsuit shields, requested by the company or organization in bankruptcy, are called “nondebtor” releases because they are bestowed on people and entities that never have to declare Chapter 11 themselves. The recipients effectively get the benefits of bankruptcy protection without the associated financial or reputational damage. Reuters ... examined 29 U.S. bankruptcies that were preceded by mass tort litigation against companies or other entities, many of which included allegations involving dangerous products or sexual abuse. The review found that about 1.2 million claimants in these cases have signed away their rights to sue related parties or face pressure to approve such releases in ongoing bankruptcy-court negotiations. The 29 bankruptcies included those of 14 Catholic dioceses or religious orders and the Boy Scouts of America amid lawsuits alleging child molestation; [and] the collapse of opioid suppliers Purdue Pharma LP and Mallinckrodt plc over their alleged roles in a deadly addiction epidemic.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


'The level of sneakiness with Americans hiding money abroad is staggering'
2022-07-22, Yahoo News
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/patrick-radden-keefe-americans-hiding-money-ab...

Whether dodging taxes or legal peril, wealthy Americans often succeed in concealing assets from the government by hiding their money in offshore bank accounts. Research from the IRS and a group of economists last year found that the top 1% of earners in the U.S. neglect to report 20% of their income — and that random audits almost never detect offshore accounts. Tax havens like Switzerland or the Cayman Islands have traditionally offered Americans a place to hide their assets because they fiercely guard financial privacy and have minimal to no taxes. Often, they also have laws that inhibit scrutiny from foreign tax officials. Prior to his latest book, [author Patrick Radden] Keefe published "Empire of Pain," which chronicled the billionaire Sackler family's connection to the nation's opioid epidemic. The Sacklers, the notorious family that owned the now bankrupt Purdue Pharma, reportedly have much of their wealth hidden in offshore accounts. An audit commissioned by Purdue showed the family withdrew more than $10 billion from their company during the opioid crisis, CNN reported in October 2020. They began drawing especially large amounts of money from the firm after paying $600 million in a 2007 plea deal with the Justice Department for misleading physicians and consumers about the opioid OxyContin, CNN reported. “The kind of sophistication of the whole industry of financial dissimulation ... such that nobody can put their hands on the money, is really interesting.” Keefe told Yahoo Finance.

Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'A staggering increase': Yearly overdose deaths top 100,000 for first time
2021-11-17, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/yearly-drug-overdose-deaths-top-10...

Drug overdose deaths in the United States surpassed 100,000 in a 12-month period for the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday, a troubling milestone amid an already devastating period for the country. The number of overdose deaths rose 29 percent, from 78,056 from April 2019 to April 2020, to 100,306 in the following 12 months. The data, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, is considered provisional but is a good indication of what the final numbers will show. “It’s a staggering increase for one year,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the NCHS. Vermont saw the biggest rise, with a nearly 70 percent increase. Large increases were also observed in West Virginia (62 percent), Kentucky (55 percent), Louisiana (52 percent) and Tennessee (50 percent). Drug overdose deaths went down in just four states: Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey and South Dakota. South Dakota had a nearly 20 percent decrease in overdose deaths, the greatest by far. Just how much of a role the stress and isolation of the pandemic played in the rising overdose deaths remains to be seen. “Opioid addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition such that the stress or the social isolation and the inability to access support groups could have resulted in relapses in people with opioid addiction, and Covid could have made it harder for people with opioid addiction to access treatment, as well,” [Dr. Andrew] Kolodny said.

Note: Yet another tragic consequence of the lockdowns and fear-mongering. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.


Internal drug company emails show indifference to opioid epidemic
2019-07-19, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/internal-drug-company-emails-sh...

In May 2008, as the opioid epidemic was raging in America, a representative of the nations largest manufacturer of opioid pain pills sent an email to a client at a wholesale drug distributor in Ohio. Victor Borelli, a national account manager for Mallinckrodt, told Steve Cochrane, the vice president of sales for KeySource Medical, to check his inventories and [i]f you are low, order more. If you are okay, order a little more, Capesce? Then Borelli joked, destroy this email ... Is that really possible? Oh Well... Those email excerpts are quoted in a 144-page plaintiffs filing along with thousands of pages of documents unsealed by a judges order Friday in a landmark case in Cleveland against many of the largest companies in the drug industry. A Drug Enforcement Administration database released earlier in the week revealed that the companies had inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012. Nearly 2,000 cities, counties and towns are alleging that the companies knowingly flooded their communities with opioids, fueling an epidemic that has killed more than 200,000. The filing by plaintiffs depict some drug company employees as driven by profits and undeterred by the knowledge that their products were wreaking havoc across the country. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the actions of some of Americas biggest and best-known companies - including Mallinckrodt, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Purdue Pharma - amounted to a civil racketeering enterprise.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


As Purdue Pharma Sought Controversial Bankruptcy Settlement, It Spent Over $1.2 Million on Lobbying
2021-08-13, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/13/purdue-pharma-sackler-bankruptcy-lobbying/

As Purdue Pharma seeks approval for a controversial bankruptcy settlement, it has retained the services of highly compensated lobbying firms Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Capitol Hill Consulting Group. At the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy trial that began Thursday, Judge Robert Drain is widely expected to approve a proposed settlement of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy that would release members of the billionaire Sackler family, the company’s owners, from all current and future opioid-related civil claims. In the year and a half leading up to the trial, Purdue spent at least $1.2 million on federal lobbying expenses as it worked toward the settlement, an Intercept review of lobbying records shows. If the settlement is approved, the Sacklers will be making a contribution of $4.28 billion, which will leave them with over $6 billion at minimum in total assets — money that will be effectively untouchable by opioid crisis victims, even though it is Purdue going bankrupt, not the Sacklers. “This whole bankruptcy was the Sacklers trying to buy immunity,” said activist Ed Bisch, who lost his son to an OxyContin overdose in 2001 and is a claimant and active opponent of the settlement. “The only question was what would be the price.” Among the lobbyists paid by Purdue Pharma — maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin — since it filed for bankruptcy reorganization in September 2019 are politically connected Brownstein Hyatt, which received $480,000, and Capitol Hill Consulting Group, which got $300,000.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: how Mexico's Sinaloa cartel has created a global network to rule the fentanyl trade
2020-12-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/08/mexico-cartel-project-synthetic...

Carlos is a Mexican businessman. Two associates accompanied him as he travelled [to] India. There, [he] met Manu Gupta, a businessman active in a variety of sectors. On 25 September 2018 he was arrested in the city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, along with a Mexican associate and an Indian chemist. The three men were wearing masks and gloves – and were in possession of more than 10kg of fentanyl — an ultra-potent synthetic opioid. The case sheds light on the international networks which Mexican cartels have built up – and the business methods they employ to dominate the lucrative fentanyl market. Fentanyl increasingly displaced heroin on the underground market, causing record numbers of overdoses around the world. In 2018, fentanyl and similar synthetic drugs accounted for nearly half of the 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the US. This year, overdoses have rocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 40 US states reporting an increase in drug mortality rates – particularly from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In theory, sales of precursors are highly regulated. In reality, the extent of the problem is revealed with a simple Google search. Entering keywords for fentanyl precursors quickly leads you to the social network Pinterest, where – nestled between wedding moodboards and home decor inspiration – are posts from Chinese companies offering fentanyl precursors for export – many directed towards Mexico.

Note: Pharmaceutical executives have been caught bribing doctors to prescribe fentanyl-containing painkillers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis
2019-04-23, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-ceo-major-drug-distribution-compa...

In a national first in the fight against the opioid crisis, a major drug distribution company, its former chief executive and another top executive have been criminally charged in New York. Rochester Drug Co-Operative, one of the top 10 largest drug distributors in the United States, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and willfully failing to file suspicious order reports. Laurence Doud III, the company's former chief executive, and William Pietruszewski, the companys former chief compliance officer, are individually charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.. Pietruszewski is also charged with willfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. The U.S. attorney's office also filed a lawsuit against Rochester Drug Co-Operative on Tuesday seeking "penalties and injunctive relief." Between 2012 and 2016, Rochester Drug Co-Operative is accused of distributing tens of millions of doses of oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids to pharmacies that its own compliance department found had no legitimate need for them. Prosecutors said Rochester Drug Co-Operative went against the DEA and its own policies and distributed drugs to pharmacies that were "filling controlled substances prescriptions issued by practitioners acting outside the scope of their medical practice, under investigation by law enforcement, or on RDCs 'watch list.'"

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


These Are the World's Healthiest Nations
2019-02-24, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-24/spain-tops-italy-as-world-...

Spain just surpassed Italy to become the worlds healthiest country. Thats according to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health. Spain placed sixth in the previous gauge, published in 2017. Four additional European nations were among the top 10 in 2019: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth). Japan was the healthiest Asian nation, jumping three places from the 2017 survey into fourth and replacing Singapore, which dropped to eighth. Australia and Israel rounded out the top 10 at seventh and 10th place. The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation. Researchers say eating habits may provide clues to health levels enjoyed by Spain and Italy [#2 on the list], as a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet, according to a study led by the University of Navarra Medical School. Meanwhile in North America, Canadas 16th-place ranking far surpassed the U.S. and Mexico, both of which dropped slightly to 35th and 53rd. Life expectancy in the U.S. has been trending lower due to deaths from drug overdoses and suicides.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


FDA knew doctors were misusing powerful opioids
2018-08-03, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/fda-knew-doctors-w...

The Food and Drug Administration knew that some doctors were wrongly prescribing powerful opioid painkillers. The drugs include mouth sprays and lozenges meant to provide immediate relief for breakthrough cancer pain ... in patients who have been taking opioids for long periods of time. The formulations, referred to as transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl products, or TIRF products, can kill patients who take them without having first developed tolerance. But they were prescribed to patients who had no tolerance, and for migraines or dental pain, the team at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said. The U.S. is suffering through an epidemic of opioid abuse. Opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, killed 42,000 people in 2016. At the same time, the CDC reported last year, the number of prescriptions for the painkillers tripled from 1999 to 2015. The FDA set up a special plan to control [TIRF products], called a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy. The FDA asked one of its expert panels ... to help review how the strategy for the TIRF opioids has been working. It has not worked as designed, the Johns Hopkins team said in testimony given to the panel. The strategy has "generated red flags for years," the team said in written testimony. FDA had evidence as early as April 2016 that TIRFs were being prescribed for many patients who were not opioid tolerant, they wrote in their testimony. Of more than 25,000 patients receiving TIRFs, as many as 51 percent were not opioid tolerant.

Note: A recent CNN report titled, "The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make" shows how doctors have profited from over-prescribing these dangerous drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma.


A town of 3,200 was flooded with nearly 21 million pain pills as addiction crisis worsened, lawmakers say
2018-01-31, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/31/a-town-of-32...

Over the past decade, nearly 21 million prescription painkillers have been shipped to a tiny town in West Virginia, a state where more people have overdosed on opioids and died than in any other in the nation. 20.8 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills have been delivered to Williamson, W.Va., a town with ... fewer than 3,200 residents. [House Energy and Commerce] Committee leaders sent letters to two regional drug distributors, asking why the companies oversupplied this town, among others, with painkillers. These numbers are outrageous, Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said in a statement. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced a nationwide crackdown on pharmacies and prescribers that are oversupplying opioids amid a deadly epidemic sweeping the United States. In the letters, dated Jan. 26, the congressional committee noted that between 2006 and 2016, drug distributors shipped large quantities of hydrocodone and oxycodone to two pharmacies in Williamson. During that time, Tug Valley Pharmacy received more than 10.2 million pills and Hurley Drug Company received more than 10.5 million pills. The pharmacies are 0.2 miles apart. The committee said in a letter to distributor Miami-Luken that from 2008 to 2015, the company had supplied more than half of all the prescription pain pills shipped to Tug Valley Pharmacy. And distributor H.D. Smith, the committee said, provided the pharmacies with nearly 5 million pills between 2007 and 2008.

Note: A CBS article titled, "Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress" describes major regulatory failures that contributed to this addiction crisis. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Medical marijuana has no public health risks should not be withheld from patients
2017-12-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://guardian.ng/features/health/medical-marijuana-has-no-public-health-ri...

After months of deliberation and investigation, the WHO has concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) is a useful treatment for epilepsy and palliative care, and does not carry any addiction risks. The organization is set to run a fuller review of cannabis next year. The report ... also recommended imposing the strong restrictions available on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which has killed thousands of people in Americas drug addiction epidemic. There is increased interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medical indications including for palliative care, the report said. Responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and side effects of cannabis and cannabis components. In conclusion, the authors wrote: Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. They added that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol, and declared that taking medical marijuana will not lead to addiction to THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis that induces a high.

Note: More people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug. The UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


How big pharma's money and its politicians feed the US opioid crisis
2017-10-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/19/big-pharma-money-lobbying-us-...

Trumps nominee for drug czar, the US congressman Tom Marino, was forced to withdraw after a report by the Washington Post and CBSs 60 Minutes highlighted his role in forging legislation that hinders the DEAs ability to move against drug distributors or pharmacies recklessly dispensing the opioid painkillers at the heart of the epidemic, which claims more than 100 lives a day. Marinos acceptance of substantial donations from those same companies compromised his nomination to head the federal agency charged with tackling the opioid crisis. But for Congress, the process was nothing unusual. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow to lobbyists and politicians on Capitol Hill each year to shape laws and policies that keep drug company profits growing. The impact of so much drug company money coursing through the veins of Congress is often incremental or largely unseen by the American public. But on occasion it has a hugely visible impact. While lobbying shapes medical policy across the board, it has had a profound impact on the opioid epidemic as deaths quadrupled between 1999 and 2015. The pharmaceutical industry poured resources into attempting to place blame for the crisis on the millions who have became addicted instead of on the mass prescribing of powerful opioids. Some of the pressure came through industry-funded groups such as the Pain Care Forum, which spent $740m over a decade lobbying in Washington and state legislatures against limits on opioid prescribing.

Note: This excellent article has lots more on the intense level of corruption found in this opioid crisis. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Some seeking help for opioid abuse are lost in a circle of lies
2017-07-08, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/08/statopioid/tS5LOG86odKWCXtL4rEgo...

Drug users, desperate to break addictions to heroin or pain pills, are pawns in a sprawling national network of insurance fraud, an investigation by The Boston Globe and STAT has found. They are being sent to treatment centers hundreds of miles from home for expensive, but often shoddy, care that is paid for by premium health insurance benefits procured with fake addresses. Patient brokers are paid a fee to place insured people in treatment centers, which pocket thousands of dollars in claims for each patient. Patients from across the United States have been taken in by these profiteers capitalizing on the surge in opioid addiction. The patients are often enrolled through HealthCare.gov, the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act that connects patients to insurers in dozens of states. The brokers, patients families, or marketers for the treatment centers pay the insurance premium. Within a few weeks, the insurer is billed tens of thousands of dollars for what is often subpar care. Many patients have no idea how their insurance coverage was obtained or that they are part of a scam. They are often told they are receiving free care or that their insurance is being taken care of by the patient broker. Some find out their coverage is from a company in a state where they have never lived only when a billing problem arises or when the broker stops paying the premium. By then, theyre far from home, stranded without any insurance.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Overdoses now leading cause of death of Americans under 50
2017-06-06, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/overdoses-are-leading-cause-of-death-americans-u...

Overdoses are now the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50. According to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times, deaths last year likely topped 59,000 - 19 percent more than the year before. In Ohio, they were up even more. On May 26, Cleveland Police Sgt. Timothy Maffo-Judd's body camera was running as he approached a man slumped in his car. It turned out that the man was minutes from a fatal drug overdose. Three applications of Narcan - the anti-overdose drug - and the victim finally started coming around. Maffo-Judd says it's become a grim routine, and he's even encountered the same person twice. "That's pretty common," he says. In Ohio, at least 4,100 people died from unintentional drug overdoses last year - a 36 percent increase from 2015, when the state led the nation in overdose deaths. Kentucky, West Virginia and New Hampshire have also experienced shocking increases, along with the East Coast. Most of it is tied to heroin or prescription painkillers, often laced with a powerful synthetic opioid known as fentanyl. In Ohio alone, nearly four billion opioid pills were prescribed across Ohio between 2011 and 2015. Ohio is now suing five big drug companies that manufacture prescription painkillers, charging that they knowingly minimize the risks of addiction. As Attorney General Mike Dewine put it: "They knew they were wrong but they did it anyway and they continue to do it."

Note: This excellent article has lots more on the intense level of corruption found in this opioid crisis. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Research Confirms this Holistic Treatment is Safer and More Effective than Morphine
2017-01-12, Waking Times
http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/01/12/research-confims-holistic-treatment-mor...

Morphine is an opioid pain medication which can have severe adverse effects. These include drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, tired feeling, anxiety and mild itching. Other risks associated with morphine use include misuse, abuse and addiction. In addition, scientific research has shown that prescription opioids may actually worsen chronic pain. It appears that a holistic alternative to treating pain is much-needed in order to mitigate the dangers of conventional pharmaceutical pain treatment. Now, a groundbreaking study shows that acupuncture is one of these effective holistic alternatives. Considering the study results, it may perhaps be even more effective than morphine. The [new] research evaluated 300 emergency patients. 150 were administered up to 15 mg of morphine per day. The other 150 were given acupuncture treatment. The acupuncture group in the study experienced significant pain reduction, and the effect occurred faster and with fewer side effects when compared to the morphine group. In 1996, acupuncture became an accepted form of medical treatment endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO based their endorsement on data from numerous controlled clinical trials conducted over the two previous decades. Undoubtedly, acupuncture can play a powerful role in pain management. It is an effective drug-free alternative to reducing pain with very few side effects that has been proven over the ages.

Note: Why wasn't this important study reported in the major media? Could it be that big Pharma has bought out the media with their billions in advertising dollars such that they won't report on discoveries that eat into their profits? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical corruption from reliable major media sources.


Prescription painkiller deaths fall in medical marijuana states
2014-08-25, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-us-medical-marijuana-deaths-20140825-sto...

Researchers aren't sure why, but in the 23 U.S. states where medical marijuana has been legalized, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by almost 25 percent, according to a new analysis. "Most of the discussion on medical marijuana has been about its effect on individuals in terms of reducing pain or other symptoms," said lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber. "The unique contribution of our study is the finding that medical marijuana laws and policies may have a broader impact on public health." California, Oregon and Washington first legalized medical marijuana before 1999, with 10 more following suit between then and 2010, the time period of the analysis. Another 10 states and Washington, D.C. adopted similar laws since 2010. For the study, Bachhuber, of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues used state-level death certificate data for all 50 states between 1999 and 2010. In states with a medical marijuana law, overdose deaths from opioids like morphine, oxycodone and heroin decreased by an average of 20 percent after one year, 25 percent by two years and up to 33 percent by years five and six compared to what would have been expected, according to results in JAMA Internal Medicine. Meanwhile, opioid overdose deaths across the country increased dramatically, from 4,030 in 1999 to 16,651 in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three of every four of those deaths involved prescription pain medications.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind-altering drug news articles from reliable major media sources.


Making guitars saved a man from opioid addiction. Now others are getting the same help
2020-10-02, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/18/us/cfc-making-instruments-to-fight-opioid-addi...

Earl Moore remembers the day his father walked out. Moore discovered the power of opioids to take that pain away while attending college at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Moore's addiction lasted more than 15 years - before he finally found the help he needed. It was a nightmare odyssey that led him to steal his grandmother's cancer pain medication and his police officer brother's ATM card to pay for pills. Not until Moore says he found a 12-step program and a mentor who showed him the art of building stringed instruments - did he find the self-love and confidence that turned his life around for good. Moore was trying to get clean yet again in 2012 when he heard a master luthier - an expert stringed-instrument maker - was coming to his hometown of Hindman, a tiny hamlet nestled in the lush mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Moore had been doing carpentry, building cabinets and had a love for guitars. Moore found himself in Naselroad's wood shop nearly every day learning how to craft guitars from Appalachian native hardwoods in a town where the mountain dulcimer was first made in the late 1800s. "Music has always been a part of this community ever since pioneer days," said Naselroad. What started out as a one-year apprenticeship became a six-year journey that brought Moore back to life. Since he began, Moore has made more than 70 instruments. He's sold many of them and kept others. Moore's success inspired the creation of the "Culture of Recovery" arts program at The Appalachian Artisan Center.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Amid opioid crisis, city sues pharma that makes OxyContin
2017-03-14, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/everett-claims-purdue-pharma-let-oxycontin-be-fun...

As deaths from painkillers and heroin abuse spiked and street crimes increased, the mayor of Everett took major steps to tackle the opioid epidemic devastating this working-class city north of Seattle. Mayor Ray Stephanson stepped up patrols, hired social workers to ride with officers and pushed for more permanent housing for chronically homeless people. The city says it has spent millions combating OxyContin and heroin abuse. So Everett is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, in an unusual case that alleges the drugmaker knowingly allowed pills to be funneled into the black market and the city of about 108,000. Purdue Pharmaceuticals was knowingly putting OxyContin into the black market in our community, Stephanson told CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO-TV earlier this year. He said the opioid crisis caused by Purdues drive for profit has overwhelmed the citys resources, stretching everyone from first responders to park crews who clean up discarded syringes. In 2007, Purdue Pharma and its executives paid more than $630 million in legal penalties to the federal government for willfully misrepresenting the drugs addiction risks. The same year, it also settled with Washington and other states that claimed the company aggressively marketed OxyContin ... while downplaying the addiction risk. A Los Angeles Times report [published last summer] found Purdue had evidence that pointed to illegal trafficking of its pills but in many cases did nothing to notify authorities or stop the flow.

Note: For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Dying From an Opioid Overdose Is More Common Than You Think
2017-08-07, Time
http://time.com/4890536/opioid-heroin-overdose-deaths/

Since 2000, the number of overdose deaths from drugs in the U.S. has risen more than 137%. Deaths from opioids - which include painkillers and heroin - make up a large portion of these deaths; 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Federal numbers like these reveal a dire situation. But a new study finds that many opioid-related deaths are underreported, and that the full picture of the epidemic may be worse than even those numbers show. In the report, Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy & economics at the University of Virginia ... found that nationwide, the death rate from opioids is 24% higher than what has been estimated previously. Deaths related to heroin, which is cheaper than prescription painkillers, are 22% higher, he says. When hospitals enter the cause of death on a persons death certificate, the drugs that contributed might not be specified, or multiple drugs will be listed as present. Between 20%-25% of the overdose death certificates Ruhm studied did not have any drug specified, suggesting that statewide estimates of deaths linked to opioids could be significantly off. Ruhm found that the overall death rates from opioids were substantially underreported across the U.S. - by more than half in Pennsylvania, for example. The growth in death rates from 2008 to 2014 - the time period Ruhm studied - was also substantially underestimated in many states.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Big Pharma really, really doesn't want you to know the true value of its drugs
2017-02-17, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-drug-pricing-evzio-2017...

The latest poster child for cruel and inhuman drug pricing is Kaleo Pharma, maker of an emergency injector for a med called naloxone, which is used as an antidote to save the lives of people who overdose on painkillers. As Americas opioid crisis reaches epidemic levels, Kaleo has jacked up the list price for its Evzio auto-injector by 600%, soaring from $690 several years ago to $4,500, according to lawmakers. Nearly three dozen senators wrote to Kaleos chief executive, Spencer Williamson, last week to say they were deeply concerned about the price hike and to note that it threatens to price out families and communities that depend on naloxone to save lives." But thats not what caught my attention. Rather, I was struck by the companys answers to me about lawmakers concerns. In response to emailed questions, Williamson said that although the list price for Evzio is more than $4,000, thats not a true net price to anyone due to numerous discounts and rebates that are negotiated in the supply chain that make up our healthcare system. In other words, even though the price tag for his companys easy-to-use, lifesaving device is ridiculous and indefensible, theres no need to worry because backroom deals by assorted players in the healthcare food chain make that price tag meaningless. And that, in a nutshell, illustrates the lunacy of the U.S. healthcare system.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and income inequality.