Why Isn’t Big Pharma Paying for the Harm it Caused?


From Alternet: The pharmaceutical industry has played a major role in causing the opioid crisis by downplaying the potentially addictive and fatal effects of narcotic pain medication. Now, taxpayers will be required to pay for prevention and treatment of opioid abuse; instead, the pharmaceutical industry should be held financially responsible.

“Once upon a time, narcotics were limited to post-surgery, post-accident and cancer pain because they are addictive. But cagey Pharma marketers, assuming that both younger doctors and patients had forgotten why narcotics were so heavily restricted, spun the lie that the narcotics were not addictive per se—that addiction boiled down to the individual person. Right. They began marketing narcotics for everyday pain and the result is the opioid and heroin crisis we have now.

When Big Tobacco was busted for a similar scheme—lying to consumers that its products were neither addictive or deadly—it was forced to pay $206 billion in the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Provisions include paying states, in perpetuity, for some of the medical costs of people with smoking-related illnesses. Why are taxpayers paying for the similar, Pharma-caused scourge?”

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  1. Decent article, some boneheaded comments though. Particularly the ones who keep insisting that psychiatrists don’t prescribe narcotics. I have come to believe that I am incredibly lucky that I don’t like how narcotics make me feel. The only one I was ever able to tolerate was Darvocet. Thankfully that one was removed from the market and I got off pain pills altogether after an 8 year odyssey of prescribing by shrinks. Psychiatrists (and other MDs) have done their best to get me hooked on heavy pain pills. Two psychiatrists continued to write 30 day supplies for Darvocet immediately after I was released from the hospital from overdose attempts. It’s the medical version of Russian Roullette. One psychiatrist treated me for pain with Darvocet, Dilaudid, and strong NSAIDS such as Celebrex without any rheumatoid testing. I got some lovely intestinal bleeding from that combo. Shrinks are the most irresponsible lot of doctors there are because they are taught not to match physiological indicators of illness with drugs but to match behaviors and feelings with drugs. And they pretty much throw the whole pharmacy at service users. It’s the same approach as drone bombing a village to get one bad guy. They throw the entire arsenal of drugs at the consumer and basically just cross their fingers and hope the magic incantation they wrote on their prescription pad works. And when the consumer becomes delirious/psychotic from the combo, they call it ‘serious mental illness’. The mentally ill group is the group of lab coat wearing maniacs masquerading as doctors. SMH

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    • I don’t know anything about Congress investigating the APA- that’s news to me. I did know they investigated NAMI. Forced them to reveal their corporate donors, which they hadn’t ever been willing to do before. Unfortunately, they still don’t reveal how much pharma donates. Their donor sheet is organized in tiers, and I think the top donation tier was something like 1mil+ (Might have been 100k+). There’s really no way to know how many millions are being donated by the corporations, and specifically by pharma as a whole. I think the investigation was back in 2010 by Chuck Schumer’s office in the Senate.

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  2. Purdue did have to pay a small fraction of their profits in lawsuit over misleading marketing for OxyContin. I am currently concerned about psychiatry prescribing suboxone, methadone, vivitrol, antabuse and campral for alcohol and drug dependence, “medication assisted treatment”. Forget about 12 step meetings and recovery work. Psychiatry has the answer in a pill.

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