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posted by martyb on Saturday May 25 2019, @04:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the profits-at-all-costs dept.

Infamous OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma used front organizations and sponsored research to deceive the World Health Organization and corrupt global public health policies with the goal of boosting international opioid sales and profits, according to a Congressional report (PDF) released Thursday, May 22.

The investigation identified two WHO guidance documents that appear to parrot some of Purdue's misleading and outright false marketing claims about the safety and efficacy of their highly addictive opioids.

The findings, released by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), land as the country is still grappling with an epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdoses kill an average of 130 Americans every day.

Clark and Rogers say that the motivation for the investigation follows a 2017 warning letter Congress members sent to the WHO. Given the opioid epidemic unfolding in the US, the lawmakers warned the WHO that opioid makers would try to expand into international markets, which could potentially trigger a global epidemic. But the Congress members say they didn't get a response (though the WHO disputes this).

"When the WHO failed to respond to the letter, we began to question why they would remain silent about such a significant and devastating public health epidemic," the report reads. "The answers we found are deeply disturbing."

Based on public records, the report outlines a tangle of organizations and individuals that connect financial threads from Purdue to WHO.

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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @05:56AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @05:56AM (#847514)

    I mean those poor people are just getting hammered over and over again.

    They're just trying to keep the family business afloat.

    Doesn't anyone remember Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan? They put it really well: There's no such thing as fraud. And any action (except shirking one's fiduciary responsibility to shareholders) is just fine as long as executives are putting shareholders and profits first.

    If a company does something that is objectionable in the eyes of some people, the company may face consequences in the market. But anything that disturbs or hampers the invisible hand is inherently bad.

    So some people died. So what? Some folks got addicted and ruined their lives. Again, so what?

    That small, family business made a profit. Good. That's why they exist. Any externalities are irrelevant. Purdue has been unfairly targeted. They're just a small, family business that made good. They expanded their market share and assiduously attended to their *only* responsibility: maximizing profit for the shareholders.

    Anything else is just non-market based bull. The only thing that works is the market and the only thing that matters is profit.

    That's the American way. And it's why we're the greatest country that ever existed and have the greatest leader (President isn't a big enough title for him though) in all of history. He's better than Caesar, better than Alexander (who wasn't so great -- what a loser!), better than Napoleon and much, much better than any of those other, so-called, "presidents" (how do we really know they were presidents at all? Only because the enemy of the people -- that'd be the free^W fake press says so and they always lie) anyway.

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  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday May 25 2019, @06:45AM (1 child)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday May 25 2019, @06:45AM (#847529) Homepage Journal

    You're trying to flatter me. But, you're not trying too hard. Because you're not with my America First policy. Of getting very tough on the Opioid Companies( &others).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @04:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @04:24PM (#847641)

      Il Douche the Dorito Benito?

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 25 2019, @08:51PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 25 2019, @08:51PM (#847708) Journal

    Doesn't anyone remember Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan? They put it really well: There's no such thing as fraud.

    They were just ripping off Cleopatra who said it first, probably when she was committing suicide with Abraham Lincoln.