Friday, August 16, 2019

Conspiracy to Deflect Attention from Opioid's Deadly Addiction Potential- Quiet on Opioids But Vocal on Guns?

The Secret Opioid Memo That Could Have Slowed or Prevented an Epidemic

As is usual. It’s been long, long known that OxyContin, would fuel an abuse and addiction crisis. And this knowledge was intentionally swept under the rug.

Think about the opioid crisis and the more then five fold death increase in under 20 years.

 Ask yourself if "gun deaths" had increased this dramatically in the same time span- how loudly  would the media, politicians & gun grabbers would be shouting? Pontificating" And demanding something be done??
 Instead it's an eerie silence.. undoubtedly due to  the likelihood that the pharmaceutical lobby, has vastly deeper pockets then the gun manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical lobbying that is acknowledged- According to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan, independent research group tracking money in US politics, individual companies within the pharmaceuticals and health products sector spent $194.3 million on lobbying as of October 24, 2018 over and above the amount disclosed by PhRMA.
Gun Lobby spending:Total for Gun Rights: $5,462,762 Open Secrets.Org
That's right the pharmaceutical industry spends nearly 40 times the amount to lobby politicians as Gun Groups do.

Before we get to the opioid crisis let check a few stats?
2017 - 39,773 people in the US lost their lives at the point of a gun (due to the steady increase in guns being used to commit suicide- not crime, but, self harm)A steady rise in suicides involving firearms has pushed the rate of gun deaths in the US to its highest rate in more than 20 years
In 20 years the rate of death due to opioid drugs increased more then 5 fold. 
2017- 47,600 opioid overdose deaths and the silence is deafening
 The facts make the hypocritical double standards so obvious as to be unmistakable!
 The victim count from deadly opioids in 2017 was larger by 827 deceased victims- Then those killed by guns. Reality the opioid death count could be larger still-
Yet, the justice department kept a document containing evidence so critical completely confidential.

Obviously opioids are killing more people.
"A confidential government document containing evidence so critical it had the potential to change the course of an American tragedy was kept in the dark for more than a decade. The document, known as a “prosecution memo,” details how government lawyers believed that Purdue Pharma, the maker of the powerful opioid, OxyContin, knew early on that the drug was fueling a rise in abuse and addiction. They also gathered evidence indicating that the company’s executives had misled the public and Congress.
So, the document containing evidence so critical of Oxycontin aka Opioids deadly addiction potential was kept confidential for more then decade? And why was that?
“The Weekly” shines a light on that 2006 Justice Department memo and its consequences for today’s wave of lawsuits against opioid makers and members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma. We go with Barry Meier, the New York Times reporter who for two decades has chronicled how opioid abuse has ravaged America, as he travels back to where the crisis began.
LATimes

Big Pharma's Soul Destroying Profiteering
As the nation’s opioid crisis deepened over the last decade, drug makers and distributors worked to deflect attention from their own roles in creating widespread addiction, according to lawyers for hundreds of cities, counties, tribes and other entities suing key pharmaceutical industry players.

One drug distributor highlighted the roles of “pill mills,” unethical doctors and pharmacies that dished up narcotic painkillers by the millions, court records state. Another focused on prescriptions acquired illegally from friends and relatives.
But Purdue Pharma, the maker of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin, considered a different tack.

Internal documents from 2016 show company officials discussed diverting online traffic away from a series of stories published by the Los Angeles Times that detailed the company’s marketing of OxyContin and its links to the deadly opioid crisis.
“If Purdue doesn’t fill this vacuum, someone else will — and it won’t be Purdue’s narrative,” a member of the company’s digital support team wrote in a memo to Purdue officials, laying out a strategy to drive traffic to a friendly website, PurduePharmaFacts.com.

By purchasing highly targeted strings of keywords that people are likely to use to find out more information about the articles, we can ensure that PurduePharmaFacts.com is at the top of a user’s search results,a related PowerPoint presentation stated.

“We’ve tailored the recommendation to capture only people searching for information related to the Times articles and to not interfere with Purdue’s marketing efforts surrounding OxyContin or spark curiosity where there was none before,” it said.

The Times’ 2016 investigative series showed how decisions by Purdue, a Connecticut corporation owned by the Sackler family, fueled the opioid epidemic. The newspaper found that OxyContin, the company’s best-selling product, wears off hours earlier than its advertised 12-hour duration in many patients, exposing them to increased risk of addiction. It also described how the company’s lawyers and security department gathered extensive evidence suggesting specific doctors and pharmacies across the nation were engaged in drug trafficking, but did not shut off the flow of OxyContin to them and, in many cases, did not share the information with law enforcement.

Purdue, which by 2016 had collected more than $31 billion from OxyContin sales, disputed The Times’ findings.

U.S. opioid overdose deaths rose from 8,048 in 1999 to 47,600 in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid deaths increased more then 5X in about 18 years. Profitable, but, not problematic?
Apparently not for the drug makers or for the government? 

I know, I know... let's blame "climate change"! 
Oh wait that's already been done "Climate change is making Opioid Crisis worse" 
Talk about denying the reality of exploitative corporate malfeasance  to spin for still more malfeasance.

Related:

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2 comments:

  1. Hi Penny: Just came across this at Democracy Now.
    Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $572 Million for Fueling Opioid Epidemic
    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/8/27/oklahoma_johnson_and_johnson_572_million

    But what about all the medical personnel who prescribed opioids for such things as same-day knee replacement?
    https://www.yayacanada.ca/home/knees-up-mother-brown-surgery-not-the-answer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi yaya:

      Thanks for leaving the link- it's good news but not enough of a fine. Considering the billions in profits and multitudes of deceased. Including one long term friend. Someone I knew for decades.

      Delete

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