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posted by martyb on Monday March 04 2019, @07:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the privatize-profits-socialize-costs dept.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reportedly exploring bankruptcy

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from thousands of lawsuits alleging the drug manufacturer contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The deliberations show how Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the pharmaceutical company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the drugs.

Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow the drug maker to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

No "Big Tobacco" moment for Purdue Pharma. Cut and run.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
Colorado Attorney General Sues Purdue Pharma

Related: The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA
U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing


Original Submission

Related Stories

City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma 23 comments

An American city is suing the maker of OxyContin for its alleged role in fueling the national opioid epidemic:

After spending millions to combat the opioid epidemic ravaging its citizens, the working-class city of Everett, Washington, is taking the maker of opioid painkiller OxyContin to federal court. The city claims that the drug maker, Purdue Pharma, knowingly sold to black markets out of pure greed, enabling the devastating epidemic hitting Everett and the rest of the country.

According to the lawsuit (PDF) filed in federal court in Seattle, Everett accuses Purdue Pharma of "knowingly, recklessly, and/or negligently supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market, including to drug rings, pill mills, and other dealers for dispersal of the highly addictive pills in Everett." Purdue's goal, Everett alleges, was to "generate enormous profits" at the expense of the people of Everett. [...] "Our community has been significantly damaged, and we need to be made whole," Everett's mayor, Ray Stephanson, told ABC News.

[...] In a statement, Purdue disputed Everett's claims, saying that it did notify the DEA and acted responsibly. "We look forward to presenting the facts in court," the company said. Purdue also said that its opioids now account for less than two percent of US opioid prescriptions.


Original Submission

OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem 39 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Patients would no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night to take their pills, Purdue told doctors. One OxyContin tablet in the morning and one before bed would provide "smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night."

When Purdue unveiled OxyContin in 1996, it touted 12-hour duration.

On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America's bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped $31 billion in revenue.

But OxyContin's stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn't last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

The problem offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.

Over the last 20 years, more than 7 million Americans have abused OxyContin, according to the federal government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The drug is widely blamed for setting off the nation's prescription opioid epidemic, which has claimed more than 190,000 lives from overdoses involving OxyContin and other painkillers since 1999.

The internal Purdue documents reviewed by The Times come from court cases and government investigations and include many records sealed by the courts. They span three decades, from the conception of OxyContin in the mid-1980s to 2011, and include emails, memos, meeting minutes and sales reports, as well as sworn testimony by executives, sales reps and other employees.

The documents provide a detailed picture of the development and marketing of OxyContin, how Purdue executives responded to complaints that its effects wear off early, and their fears about the financial impact of any departure from 12-hour dosing.

South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue 11 comments

South Carolina has become the sixth U.S. state to sue opioid makers over their marketing practices and contribution to the opioid epidemic:

The lawsuit by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, filed in Richland County Court of Common Pleas in Columbia, accuses the company of the unfair and deceptive marketing of opioid painkillers. Wilson claimed Purdue has told doctors that patients who receive prescriptions for opioids generally will not become addicted and those who appeared to be were only "pseudoaddicted" and needed more of the drugs.

[...] Since a 2007 settlement with South Carolina, Purdue has continued to downplay the addictiveness of its opioid products and overstated the benefits compared to other pain management treatments, according to the lawsuit. "While there is a time and place for patients to receive opioids, Purdue prevented doctors and patients from receiving complete and accurate information about opioids in order to make informed choices about their treatment options," Wilson said in a statement.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue denied the allegations and said it shares the concerns of South Carolina officials about the crisis and is committed to finding solutions. Purdue and other drugmakers have been sued over opioid products by Oklahoma, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and New Hampshire as well as cities and counties in California, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and New York.

Is this Big Pharma's Tobacco Moment?


Original Submission

Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors 46 comments

Pain Pill Giant Purdue to Stop Promotion of Opioids to Doctors

Pain-pill giant Purdue Pharma LP will stop promoting its opioid drugs to doctors, a retreat after years of criticism that the company's aggressive sales efforts helped lay the foundation of the U.S. addiction crisis.

The company told employees this week that it would cut its sales force by more than half, to 200 workers. It plans to send a letter Monday to doctors saying that its salespeople will no longer come to their clinics to talk about the company's pain products.

"We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers," the company said in a statement. Instead, any questions doctors have will be directed to the Stamford, Connecticut-based company's medical affairs department.

OxyContin, approved in 1995, is the closely held company's biggest-selling drug, though sales of the pain pill have declined in recent years amid competition from generics. It generated $1.8 billion in 2017, down from $2.8 billion five years earlier, according to data compiled by Symphony Health Solutions. It also sells the painkiller Hysingla.

Oxycodone.

Also at Reuters, USA Today, The Verge, and CNN.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue

Related: Opioid Crisis Partly Blamed on a 1980 Letter to the New England Journal of Medicine
President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
CVS Limits Opioid Prescriptions
Congress Reacts to Reports that a 2016 Law Hindered DEA's Ability to go after Opioid Distributors
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan


Original Submission

Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis? 95 comments

US needs to invest 'tens of billions or hundreds of billions' to fight opioid epidemic

The goal of an opioid is to reduce pain, but the addictive drugs are creating pain for millions of families suffering through the crisis. Deaths from opioid overdoses number at least 42,000 a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"This is an epidemic that's been getting worse over 10 to 20 years," Caleb Alexander, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety, told CNBC's "On The Money" in a recent interview. "I think it's important that we have realistic expectations about the amount of work that it will take and the amount of coordination to turn this steamship around," Alexander added.

[...] Alexander added: "The statistics are stunning. More than 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder or opioid addiction" and he says the country needs to "invest tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars" to shore up the treatment system. He said patients should be able to access medications that "we know work to help reduce the cravings for further opioids."

Don't mention the Portugal model!

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Attorney General is suing members of the family that runs Purdue Pharma:

Their family name graces some of the nation's most prestigious bastions of culture and learning — the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum, the Sackler Lefcourt Center for Child Development in Manhattan and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University, to name a few.

Now the Sackler name is front and center in a lawsuit accusing the family and the company they own and run, Purdue Pharma, of helping to fuel the deadly opioid crisis that has killed thousands of Americans. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took the unusual step of naming eight members of the Sackler family this week in an 80-page complaint that accused Purdue Pharma of spinning a "web of illegal deceit" to boost profits.

While prosecutors in more than a dozen other states hit hard by the opioid epidemic have sued Purdue Pharma, Healey is the first to name individual Sackler family members, along with eight company executives.


Original Submission

The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA 157 comments

This Bold Plan to Fight Opioid Overdoses Could Save Lives--But Some Conservatives Think It's "Immoral"

With Ohio beset by a massive public health around opioid use and overdoses--more than 4,000 Ohioans died of opioid overdoses in 2016--the Cleveland Plain Dealer sent travel editor Susan Glaser to Amsterdam in search of innovative approaches to the problem. While there, she rediscovered Holland's long-standing, radical, and highly effective response to heroin addiction and properly asked whether it might be applied to good effect here.

The difference in drug-related death rates between the two countries is staggering. In the U.S., the drug overdose death rate is 245 per million, nearly twice the rate of its nearest competitor, Sweden, which came in second with 124 per million. But in Holland, the number is a vanishingly small 11 per million. In other words, Americans are more than 20 times more likely to die of drug overdoses than the Dutch.

For Plain Dealer readers, the figures that really hit home are the number of state overdose deaths compared to Holland. Ohio, with just under 12 million people, saw 4,050 drug overdose deaths in 2016; the Netherlands, with 17 million people, saw only 235.

What's the difference? The Dutch government provides free heroin to several score [where a score=20] hardcore heroin addicts and has been doing so for the past 20 years. Public health experts there say that in addition to lowering crime rates and improving the quality of life for users, the program is one reason overdose death rates there are so low. And the model could be applied here, said Amsterdam heroin clinic operator Ellen van den Hoogen.

[...]"It's not a program that is meant to help you stop," acknowledged van den Hoogen. "It keeps you addicted."

That's not a sentiment sits well with American moralizers, such as George W. Bush's drug czar, John Walters, whom Glaser consulted for the story. He suggested that providing addicts with drugs was immoral and not "real treatment," but he also resorted to lies about what the Dutch are doing.

He claimed the Dutch are "keeping people addicted for the purpose of controlling them" and that the Dutch have created "a colony of state-supported, locked-up addicts."

Your humble Ed (who rechopped the quoting, so head off to the full article(s) to see the full story) adds: of course, this is quite a contentious issue, digging deep into moralistic debate, and where clearly there's little agreed-upon objective truth and plenty of opinions. However, we are a community dotted widely round the globe, and so I'm sure there are plenty of stories of what has or has not worked in different locales.

Previous: Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization


Original Submission

Colorado Attorney General Sues Purdue Pharma 16 comments

Man who made billions from OxyContin is pushing drug to wean addicts off opioids

Following hundreds of lawsuits over the years against pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, Colorado's attorney general is suing the OxyContin creator for its "significant role in causing the opioid epidemic." The lawsuit claims Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma Inc. deluded doctors and patients in Colorado about the potential for addiction with prescription opioids and continued to push the drugs. And it comes amid news that the company's former chairman and president, Richard Sackler, has patented a new drug to help wean addicts from opioids.

[...] In federal court in 2007, three top current and former employees for Purdue pleaded guilty to criminal charges, admitting that they had falsely led doctors and their patients to believe that OxyContin was less likely to be abused than other drugs in its class, according to The New York Times. Then earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Purdue planned to stop promoting the drug.

Now, it seems, a new business venture is only adding to the outcry. The Financial Times reported that Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma, a multibillion-dollar company, patented a new drug earlier this year that is a form of buprenorphine, a mild opioid that is used to ease withdrawal symptoms. However, some are expressing outrage that the Sacklers, who have in essence profited from opioid addictions, may soon be profiting from the antidote. "It's reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health," Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, a New York-based treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction, told the Financial Times. He told the newspaper that the Sackler family "shouldn't be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates - and that includes opioid substitutes."

Financial Times also reported that the Sackler family owns Rhodes Pharma, "a little-known Rhode Island-based drugmaker that is among the largest producers of off-patent generic opioids in the U.S."

Also at The Independent.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis? (Massachusetts Attorney General sues Sackler family)


Original Submission

U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing 19 comments

Opioid Deaths May Be Starting To Plateau, HHS Chief Says

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

[...] In 2017, the number of Americans dying from opioid overdoses rose to 72,000 from 64,000 the previous year. However, according to new provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control, the numbers stopped rising toward the end of 2017, a trend that has continued into the beginning of this year. It is "finally bending in the right direction," Azar said. He added that the death toll flattening out is "hardly a victory," especially at such high levels. Current government statistics show that opioids kill over 115 Americans each day.

[...] On Wednesday, President Trump is expected to sign a bill recently passed by Congress that expands Medicaid opioid treatment programs and workforce training initiatives, and supports FDA research to find new options for non-opioid pain relief.

It's Too Soon to Celebrate the End of the Opioid Epidemic

While we don't know why deaths have begun to fall, experts say there are a few likely reasons. Doctors are prescribing fewer painkillers. More states are making naloxone, which reverses opioid overdoses, widely available. And it's possible that more addicts have started medication-assisted therapies like buprenorphine, which is how France solved its own opioid epidemic years ago. Indeed, the states with the biggest declines in overdose deaths were those like Vermont that have used evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to tackling opioid addiction.

[...] Still, it's possible this is a "false dawn," as Keith Humphreys, an addiction expert at Stanford University, put it to me. "Opioid-overdose deaths did not increase from 2011 to 2012, and many people declared that the tide was turning. But in 2013, they began racing up again," he said. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl are still rising, as are those from methamphetamines.

Related: President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA


Original Submission

Purdue Pharma to Pay $270 Million Settlement to Oklahoma 23 comments

Purdue Pharma settles opioid lawsuit for $270m

Purdue Pharma, the drug-maker owned by the billionaire Sackler family, has reached a $270m settlement in a lawsuit which claimed its opioids contributed to the deaths of thousands of people.

The deal with Oklahoma is the first settlement the US firm has struck amid some 2,000 other lawsuits it is facing linked to its painkiller OxyContin.

Purdue is one of several firms named in the claim which alleged they used deceptive practices to sell opioids.

[...]Under the settlement, Purdue will pay $102.5m towards the creation of a National Centre for Addiction Studies and Treatment at Oklahoma State University.

The Sacklers themselves said that they will contribute $75m over five years to the centre.

Also at CNN and NBC.

Previously: OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma May File for Bankruptcy to Disrupt Lawsuits


Original Submission

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma to Plead Guilty to Three Criminal Charges 67 comments

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma to Plead Guilty to Three Criminal Charges

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to 3 criminal charges as part of an $8 billion-plus settlement

WASHINGTON (AP) — Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, the powerful prescription painkiller that experts say helped touch off an epidemic, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials told The Associated Press.

The company will plead guilty to a criminal information being filed Wednesday in federal court in New Jersey to three counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws, the officials said.

The deal does not release any of the company's executives or owners — members of the wealthy Sackler family — from criminal liability. A criminal investigation is ongoing.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Also at: Business Insider, CBS News, and ABC News.

Guilty pleas? You seldom see that - these corporates always seem to get away with weasel word statements to the effect, "We acknowledge no wrongdoing blah blah blah . . . "

Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Opioid Crisis Charges, Will Become a Public Benefit Corporation

OxyContin maker to plead guilty to federal criminal charges, pay $8 billion, and will close the company

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has agreed to plead guilty to three federal criminal charges for its role in creating the nation's opioid crisis and will pay more than $8 billion and close down the company.

The money will go to opioid treatment and abatement programs. The privately held company has agreed to pay a $3.5 billion fine as well as forfeit an additional $2 billion in past profits, in addition to the $2.8 billion it agreed to pay in civil liability.
"Purdue Pharma actively thwarted the United States' efforts to ensure compliance and prevent diversion," said Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Administrator Tim McDermott. "The devastating ripple effect of Purdue's actions left lives lost and others addicted."

The company doesn't have $8 billion in cash available to pay the fines. So Purdue will be dissolved as part of the settlement, and its assets will be used to create a new "public benefit company" controlled by a trust or similar entity designed for the benefit of the American public. The Justice Department said it will function entirely in the public interest rather than to maximize profits. Its future earnings will go to paying the fines and penalties, which in turn will be used to combat the opioid crisis.

That new company will continue to produce painkillers such as OxyContin, as well as drugs to deal with opioid overdose. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who announced the settlement, defended the plans for the new company to continue to sell that drug, saying there are legitimate uses for painkillers such as OxyContin.

Also at The New York Times, Bloomberg, NBC, and CBS.

Previously:


Original Submission


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @07:54PM (20 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @07:54PM (#809945)

    Maybe, perhaps, some day, we might vote for people that will change the law. I can dream, right? In the meantime, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by PartTimeZombie on Monday March 04 2019, @08:14PM

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday March 04 2019, @08:14PM (#809953)

      If you don't like the law, why don't you just buy your own laws, like the Sacklers did?

      Bootstraps!

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by julian on Monday March 04 2019, @08:35PM (18 children)

      by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04 2019, @08:35PM (#809961)

      Most of the country already does, but the people who live in communities most savaged by addiction reliably vote for the party that is actively hostile to changing the laws and holding drug pushers like Purdue accountable. They'd rather vote on issues like abortion, guns, and blame their problems on minorities, Jews, and liberals. It doesn't help that the other party has a huge messaging problem when talking to white people, especially men.

      It's not enough to just offer policy that would help, you have to communicate it to them in a way that doesn't leave them feeling talked-down to, insulted, confused, or unintelligent. Democrats aren't very good at that, sadly. The other side has a natural advantage because fear and anger, like sex, sells itself. It's a lot more difficult to get people to sit down and understand nuanced economic ideas, regulation, and technological globalization. The other side's solutions fit on a bumper sticker--despite being almost perfectly wrong.

      You want to hold corporations responsible for pushing poison into your community? There's only one Party that even offers the possibility.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 04 2019, @08:43PM (14 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04 2019, @08:43PM (#809963) Journal

        I have to disagree. The two parties offer the same possibility of holding the Sacklers responsible, which is zero. Both parties were holding their hands out to the corporations at election time, and corporations are happy to contribute to both parties. The only real chance of change, are third parties winning more than one or two seats at the hog trough.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by julian on Monday March 04 2019, @08:53PM (13 children)

          by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04 2019, @08:53PM (#809971)

          HR1. Who is spearheading that? Who is obstructing it? Democrats are far from perfect, but the difference is night and day for anyone with a modicum of moral clarity. HR1 is a sweeping anti-corruption bill, and the GOP is against it. Just repeat that to yourself over and over until you understand. It includes the following campaign finance reforms among its many improvements to our democracy:

          • Provisions from the Disclose Act would expand the prohibition on foreign political money and mandate the disclosure of the big donors behind politically active 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.
          • Digital companies, like Facebook and Google, would have to set up public databases cataloging political ad purchase requests of $500 or more and create new measures to block ad buys by foreign nationals.
          • Presidential inaugural committees would have to disclose expenditures, in addition to the existing requirement for donor disclosure. This is a response to reports of unexplained spending by Trump's inaugural committee.
          • A new matching-fund program would support House candidates who agree to raise only small-dollar contributions. (Similar provisions for Senate candidates would have to come from the Senate.) The public financing system for presidential candidates, largely irrelevant since 2012, would be updated.
          • The bill would quash "sidecar" superPACs that support individual candidates.

          So if you're against an act which does those things, then admit you don't actually care about corrupt funding practices. The only reason for not supporting HR1 and the Party backing it is because you are pro-corruption.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Monday March 04 2019, @09:38PM (10 children)

            by bob_super (1357) on Monday March 04 2019, @09:38PM (#809989)

            Let's be clear that one party can put whatever they feel looks good (whether they actually practice what they preach or not), in a bill that they know has exactly 0 chance to pass.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by julian on Monday March 04 2019, @10:25PM (7 children)

              by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04 2019, @10:25PM (#810011)

              Absent any reason to believe otherwise, I'm going to operate under the assumption that these efforts are sincere. Democrats tried and succeeded in passing sweeping health care reform that, though flawed, did improve a lot of things. Instead of working to improve it, conservatives have been picking away at it for years and years. So they are more than capable of planning big legislation that takes years to gain support for. This is the next big project, along with the Green New Deal.

              And if you want to talk about absurd insincerity, Mitch McConnell holds the all-time record when he filibustered himself [washingtonpost.com] after Democrats agreed to vote on a proposal that he submitted in bad faith.

              • (Score: 2, Informative) by fustakrakich on Monday March 04 2019, @10:53PM (2 children)

                by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday March 04 2019, @10:53PM (#810023) Journal

                I'm going to operate under the assumption that these efforts are sincere.

                Their game has a name: Villain Rotation [salon.com]

                --
                La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
                • (Score: -1, Troll) by julian on Monday March 04 2019, @11:09PM (1 child)

                  by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04 2019, @11:09PM (#810038)

                  I don't even need to read past the byline. Greenwald is a troll propagandist for the tribe of far-leftists and anarchists who hate the West so much they'll side with the enemies of America out of political expediency. They are so far out on the fringe they can no longer see a difference between mainstream Democrats and Republicans. I have no use for someone with such an impoverished perspective on American politics, or history.

                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Monday March 04 2019, @11:16PM

                    by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday March 04 2019, @11:16PM (#810040) Journal

                    Troll or not, this is what the party practices.

                    far-leftists and anarchists who hate the West

                    Ah, okaaay! Now we know where you're comin' from, sorry for not noticing... thankyoueverymuch :-)

                    --
                    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:04PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:04PM (#810288)

                Democrats tried and succeeded in passing sweeping health care reform that, though flawed, did improve a lot of things.

                You mean that evil healthcare mandate/tax that made my premiums go up 150% each and every year since it passed?
                Even though I am in the 85% at most, no where near the 1%.

                Yeah, "flawed" is an understatement and "improved a lot of things" a bald faced lie.

                • (Score: 2) by julian on Tuesday March 05 2019, @11:02PM

                  by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 05 2019, @11:02PM (#810475)

                  I mean the health care law that allowed my brother to get medical insurance, and thus care, for the first time in his adult life and discover a heart condition which might have killed him later. You're not the only person in this country. The ACA helped many people, and while I am sorry that it did not work to your benefit, your solipsism is deeply unproductive in addition to un-American. By chance do you happen to live in a state controlled by the aforementioned pro-corruption party? The Republicans deliberately sabotaged the ACA in their states where they controlled the governorship and legislature, inflicting pain on their own citizens in order to spite Obama.

                  Your anger is justified but misplaced. The Republicans and right-wing Democrats are the ones you should be mad at. The problem with the ACA was it did not go far enough, but maybe we will get universal health care one day. If we do, it won't be the pro-corruption party that we will have to thank for it.

                • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday March 06 2019, @06:59AM (1 child)

                  by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday March 06 2019, @06:59AM (#810608)

                  How much would those premiums have gone up without the ACA excuse ?
                  Forecasts were dire enough that the insurance companies agreed to some changes.
                  I still don't get how they let the individual mandate get cancelled without a lobbying fight.

                  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday March 06 2019, @04:39PM

                    by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday March 06 2019, @04:39PM (#810751) Journal

                    I still don't get how they let the individual mandate get cancelled without a lobbying fight.

                    The conflict of interest was too powerful to cover up. ACA was a republican plan all along. They too, needed the mandate to sell the windfall to the "moderate" democrats that didn't like the actually good parts of the bill. And then the repeal of the mandates bought some votes from the fan base.

                    --
                    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Monday March 04 2019, @10:34PM (1 child)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday March 04 2019, @10:34PM (#810013) Journal

              The only reason it won't pass is due to the Pro-Corruption party.

              Why do you defend the Pro-Corruption party?

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06 2019, @04:56PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06 2019, @04:56PM (#810756)

                Pro-Corruption party

                Is there another kind? On the ballot? I mean, there is, kinda, but they only get around one or two percent of the vote. The Pro-Corruption party gets the rest, sharing the power the same way used car dealers shuffle their inventory. The Pro-Corruption party only thrives because of Pro-Corruption voters that want a piece of the action. They make the Pro-Corruption party the only viable option, and they will tell you so! "Third party vote is a wasted vote". They couldn't be more obvious!

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @12:00AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @12:00AM (#810056)

            So if you're against an act which does those things, [and only those things] then admit you don't actually care about corrupt funding practices.

            Without seeing everything else in the bill, listing a few things it has is insufficient to draw any conclusion about it.

            Too many bills contain some good stuff and an endless stream of riders adding all kinds of unrelated nonsense.

          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:17AM

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:17AM (#810135) Journal

            The only reason for not supporting HR1 and the Party backing it is because you are pro-corruption.

            Oh brother! So melodramatic! Now we're demanding party loyalty, eh? I wonder who's modding that stuff up.

            --
            La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @08:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @08:44PM (#809965)

        Those people may not be far wrong: the Sacklers are Jewish.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Sulla on Monday March 04 2019, @08:53PM

        by Sulla (5173) on Monday March 04 2019, @08:53PM (#809972) Journal

        Corporations get what corporations want regardless of party. If President Obama cared about the oxy flowing into this country he would have done something about our Afghanistan opium expedition that ensures that our pharma companies have a steady supply of white gold. Everytime we have a situation where a law might pass/not pass in a way that is favorable to pharma we always have some "mavericks" that cross party lines to make sure the profit keeps flowing. Every vote to continue appropriations for the Afghanistan war is a vote for big pharma, every vote for the ACA was a vote for big pharma, every time someone from either party blocked patent reform they were paid by big pharma.

        https://www.cnn.com/2016/02/11/health/big-pharma-presidential-politics/index.html [cnn.com] (from 2016 election)
        http://www.drugsdb.com/blog/big-pharma-political-contributions.html [drugsdb.com] (from 2012 election)

        --
        Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @10:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @10:03PM (#810002)

        the people who live in communities most savaged by addiction reliably vote for the party that is actively hostile to changing the laws

        True; also the party that hands out free syringes.

        It's not a partisan thing. If the Sacklers of shit behind Oxycontin ever read A Scanner Darkly, they'd be running rehab clinics too.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snow on Monday March 04 2019, @07:56PM (5 children)

    by Snow (1601) on Monday March 04 2019, @07:56PM (#809946) Journal

    From TFA:

    We are, however, committed to ensuring that our business remains strong and sustainable. We have ample liquidity [...]

    So the bankruptcy has nothing to do with actually being insolvent in any way, but rather of a way to be above the law?

    Must be nice to be filthy rich and better than all those poor people who have to obey laws.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by darkfeline on Monday March 04 2019, @09:37PM (2 children)

      by darkfeline (1030) on Monday March 04 2019, @09:37PM (#809987) Homepage

      You don't understand. They have so much money that their bank account ruptured, hence bankruptcy.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @10:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @10:38PM (#810014)

        In God we truss.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @11:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @11:29PM (#810045)

        -aka- "three golden sword brand"
        cant recall the chinese characters for now.
        also ... can we get opium refill cartridges for vaping?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:39AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:39AM (#810081)

      ...and the next month keep chugging renamed to Pordoe Pharma, 2.0.

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday March 05 2019, @05:22PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @05:22PM (#810316) Journal

        Funny: in Canada, Loblaws changed it's corporate name to Loblaw; i guess in order to get rid of the union and rehire their employees at a lower price.

        Something like that. Why is this shit allowed? Why are companies allowed to buy (Loblaw was allowed to buy the biggest Canadian pharmacy company Shoppers Drug Mart) and merge instead of disallowing it and forcing REAL competition? I'm guessing it's because A LOT OF FECKING MONEY PASSES INTO GOVERNMENT HANDS?!

        Should not be allowed. Increase competition instead of decreasing it and handing power to the 1%.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 04 2019, @08:09PM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04 2019, @08:09PM (#809951) Journal

    labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse

    What use a label, when the salesmen were bribing doctors to abuse and misuse the drugs? From the patient's point of view, there was generally no intent to misuse or abuse the drug. The doctor prescribed the drug, the patient took the drug as instructed - and he was hooked. (Yes, there were certainly exceptions to that rule. We aren't especially interested in those right now.)

    The bankruptcy court needs to deny any attempts to take harbor in it's court. Purdue and the Sacklers need to be wrung dry. And, yes, I mean the Sacklers should be sued, personally and individually. Let the sons of bitches find jobs at McDonald's to feed themselves for the rest of their lives. Maybe they'll resort to eating their own medications to make their lives more bearable.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Entropy on Monday March 04 2019, @09:12PM (14 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Monday March 04 2019, @09:12PM (#809979)

    Some people don't actually like being in pain. Some nonsense excuse for the "war on drugs" or "for the children" blanket arguments to torture cancer patients(or _ANYONE_ in pain) is awful.

    If people want to use drugs then have fun using drugs. For anyone who is in pain(which is most people at some point in their lives) then leave them alone.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:41PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:41PM (#809991)

      Some people don't actually like being addicted. When you're selling basically heroin, perhaps you should tell your patients that and disclose the very real downsides?

      People react differently to addictive substances. Be happy if you can have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner but don't be a simpleton and assume everybody can.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:57PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:57PM (#809999)

        I agree. I was on Rx Fentanyl for 10 years, got fed up with the side effects (memory problems, constipation, even a seizure) and slowly quit everything. That crap turns you into a zombie. It took a year to slowly detox and adjust to the pain. My pain tolerance is now so high I can have dental work done without a local. It sucks to be in pain, but it sucks even more when you can't remember your kids growing up. The memories did eventually return.

        • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:47AM

          by Magic Oddball (3847) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:47AM (#810139) Journal

          I was on a high dose of prescription patch Fentanyl that long, and while there was some constipation, it wasn't severe (or at least, not more so than my body the rest of the time) and I didn't experience memory lapses, zombiefy my brain, or otherwise have all that much of an effect. The absolute worst side-effect I got from it was that if I didn't change the patch at least every 3 days, my skin would become intolerably hypersensitive.

          Even a quarter-pill of the percocet they gave me recently to replace it (after I pointed out that eating Naproxen like candy when one has fucked kidneys isn't a good move), OTOH, has such severe zoned-out-sleepy-zombie effects that I don't dare take more than 1/8 of a pill if I need to stay conscious, and don't dare drive my car on any dose. It also causes a mild euphoria that I can easily see would cause a serious emotional addiction if I used it more than once in a blue moon. Given the dose is the same number of morphine-equivalents as the Fentanyl I'd dropped down to, that doesn't seem like a good exchange to me.

          I naturally have a stupidly high pain tolerance level, but my body has other ways of forcing me to notice that it's unhappy that mess with my quality of life. I'd rather be able to just get on with living my life, not be stuck feeling too fatigued either from a pill or because my body's in pain I can't fully sense.

      • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:59PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:59PM (#810000)

        Some people don't like knowing what the truth is. When you're making false equivalencies, perhaps you should state that you might not know what most providers actually tell their patients. (Unless, of course, you'd care to share your medical credentials, AC, that would indicate what you know of besides your personal experience and anecdotes you've read?) Then you can study enough pharmacology to learn differences between various opioids. But instead you'd like to pretend that a guarded swimming pool is exactly like an unguarded ocean - you can drown in both, but people who swim responsibly, have a lifeguard present, and are ready to acknowledge risks for cramping rarely drown.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @10:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @10:19PM (#810009)

          I'm not an MD but I can read. These are documented facts.

          Federal officials said that internal Purdue Pharma documents show that company officials recognized even before the drug was marketed that they would face stiff resistance from doctors who were concerned about the potential of a high-powered narcotic like OxyContin to be abused by patients or cause addiction.

          As a result, company officials developed a fraudulent marketing campaign designed to promote OxyContin as a time-released drug that was less prone to such problems. The crucial ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, a narcotic that has been used for many years. But unlike other medications like Percocet that contain oxycodone along with other ingredients, OxyContin is pure oxycodone, with a large amount in each tablet because of the time-release design.

          -- https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/business/11drug-web.html [nytimes.com]

          It's not very common for corporations to pay $600 million fines and it is very rare for corporations to admit guilt. They know we all know they did it and there was no way out for them, so they absolutely had to admit it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04 2019, @09:53PM (#809996)

      Some people don't actually like being in pain.

      And some people push opioids onto those who do not know the perils of addiction.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday March 04 2019, @10:58PM (7 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 04 2019, @10:58PM (#810028)

      Then why don't we give them something that does a good job of relieving pain but doesn't make them physically addicted, push them to heroin, and get them killed by overdose?

      Oh, wait, I know why: Because according to US government official policy ever since the Nixon administration, cannabis (which by all appearances provides a lot of pain relief) is more dangerous than opioids. It confuses the heck out of many autocratic types, but it turns out that opioid addiction is a consequence of the War on Drugs at least as much as it is a consequence of the existence of drugs. But it was all in service to the cause of being able to lock up black people and hippies [cnn.com], so that makes it OK or something.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday March 05 2019, @12:17AM (5 children)

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @12:17AM (#810061) Journal

        Gee. That's why we have no cannabinoids that are prescribeable. [drugabuse.gov] Absolutely none [wikipedia.org] at all [everydayhealth.com]. And of course there are no side effects to cannabis use at all [nih.gov], nosiree! Golly gosh, it's nice to have a drug that one can use with absolutely no concern as to the type of pain generated (as in where the pain is generated - by peripheral stimulation or deep nerve receptor) and just throw one thing at it.
        It's a wonderful miracle drug that should be used to treat any and every conceivable problem known to medicine, and of course there are absolutely no money interests behind legalizing cannabis! What a wonderful world we live in to see a drug that just anybody can use! Why, it should be OTC because it's so harmless!

        No, thanks. I'll take my common sense and ask my physician questions. I'll be concerned about addiction. And then, as I have in the past, I'll take the opioids when they are prescribed to me, as they are prescribed to me, and then I'll stop using them. (Or I'll take the Tylenol or NSAIDs that are prescribed instead). And what do you know? Just as I've been educated, I've never had physical dependence set in - just the samish very mild mental withdrawl that comes from when you stop any pain relief medicine because iit helped you feel better when you really needed it. And now you know your injuries have healed enough to come off them.

        --
        This sig for rent.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:51AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:51AM (#810084)

          All the long term side effects in that study you cited only affect children/teenagers. So in other words don't give drugs to kids. Seems plausible. On the other hand, opioids affect everyone, in many cases fatally.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday March 05 2019, @02:08AM (3 children)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday March 05 2019, @02:08AM (#810094) Journal

          You can just try aspirin, cannabis, or kratom for pain relief, and you probably won't have too many problems even if it doesn't work for you.

          Try oxycodone, heroin, fentanyl, etc... not a good idea.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:24PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:24PM (#810227)

            I've taken kratom for over ten years as a tonic. it NEVER was promoted for pain relief back before this opiate epidemic began. that only came about in recent years as part of a gold rush.

            Knowing there is marketing that says on the website that it is a painkiller has provided no relief from pain. I still have to open the bottle of aspirin or ibuprofen just like I have always done.

            I dont even know anyone in my clique that uses kratom that has experienced it relieving pain, not even as an unexpected side effect. we're all super pissed that its being promoted this way, and expect it'll get banned before long because of the unwanted attention and likely legal 'evidence' that will try to make it out to be an illegal pain relieving narcotic because everyone says so. All we need is a celebrity to mix it with some other drug and get hurt and it'll be all the fuse needed to set off that regulatory process.

            It has been demonstrated to bind to receptors in the brain that also bind to opiates, but that doesn't make it an opiate in the same way that psilocin and psilociben are not SSRIs because they bind to serotonin receptors like Prozac and force regular serotonin molecules already in the brain to float around and wait for their turn to attach to the occupied receptors, preventing re-uptake.

          • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:33PM

            by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:33PM (#810231) Journal

            I started to lay out the more severe side effects which can occur with each of those "not too many problems" drugs. But for once I don't want to seem pedantic. Suffice to say that each of them carries risks and each one can kill you in the right circumstances. (I'll call out that, in children, the risk of Reye's syndrome makes sweet little innocent aspirin contraindicated.) Just as opioids carry risks and can kill you in the right circumstances. And who *doesn't* know that opioids don't carry heavy side effects? That, plus the known addictive potential, is why they're schedule medications. That's why you don't just "try" opioids, and there is not an ethical health practitioner who thinks writing out a morphine prescription is the same as giving an aspirin. And why you can't just go up and buy a bottle of laudanum anymore, but rather need an independent trained individual to judge that the benefits of getting an opioid outweigh the risks of it. It's why there are protocols for pain assessment and ever growing knowledge as to how the body processes pain. And why every day ethical practitioners send some people home from the ER every single day with prescriptions for Tylenol regular, and not opioids.

            Now... marijuana. It does have side effects, and those who blow them off undermine the case for using it. It is currently being hyped out of proportion to what it can actually do. It would be interesting, if it were possible, to try and quantify what the proportion of drug-seekers there are for opioids and marijuana. My hypothesis is that the latter is the far more numerous category. I'm just not sure how that gets tested other than qualitatively.

            Pain control is a spectrum. Cannibinoids can indeed be a tool used in that box, and that's good. But it's one tool and the people who take care of you medically do have need for the whole box. And you should pay attention if your practitioner says you should be using the hammer this time instead of the screwdriver.

            (And none of what I said excuses Purdue Pharma. That they misled those who take the toolbox out to do work with it means they should indeed be penalized. But a good jobber still needs good hammers in the toolbox instead of trying to set nails with pliers.)

            --
            This sig for rent.
      • (Score: 2) by Entropy on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:16AM

        by Entropy (4228) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @04:16AM (#810134)

        I think that should be legal as well. I would imagine some people respond better to cannabis, some to opiates?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @10:55AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05 2019, @10:55AM (#810203)

    He who has the gold buys the rules

  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:11PM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @01:11PM (#810222) Homepage Journal

    Guggenheim Museum, so many New Yorkers protesting the horrible Sackler Family (murder by medicine). But, the story was censored by Soylent News Editors. With ZERO explanation. They don't need to explain, we know why they rejected that one. It didn't come from the Insider Elite. foxnews.com/us/protesters-stage-demonstration-at-guggenheim-museum-to-protest-family-accused-of-creating-opioid-crisis [foxnews.com]

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