Pharma Execs Barred from Federal Programs


Three former executives from Purdue Pharma have been barred by a federal appeals court from doing business with federal healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid as a consequence of misleading practices in relation to the marketing of Oxycontin. The case has been closely watched as the ban effectively makes it impossible for the executives to continue to work in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. What the heck does “doing business” with federal healthcare programs mean? It seems to be some lawyer is going to find a way to retain the execs, who will designate somebody else in the company to “do the business” with federal healthcare programs.

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      • I don’t understand why you write off the possibility that the drugs caused this tragedy. Even the (mostly useless) FDA requires that labels for these drugs include the fact that they sometimes cause aggression and mania. And virtually all the mass killers in recent years have been eventually shown to be on psych drugs at the time of the killings.

        But I CAN understand your reaction to Healy’s support of shock treatment. This is an example, I think, of the arrogance of people who consider themselves to be the elite. The suffering of the people who come under the control of psychiatry is just an interesting intellectual question to them. This kind of elitism is pretty common in England, I understand, but certainly Ivy League intellectuals here are just as bad.

        We can’t rely on such people, with their narcissism and their complete disrespect for those who are not from their own class, to make any progress in fighting any kind of injustice. The change has to come from the people who are hurt by that injustice.

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