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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: 2) by stormreaver on Saturday May 25 2019, @01:20PM (3 children)

    by stormreaver (5101) on Saturday May 25 2019, @01:20PM (#847574)

    My primary reason for doubting the so-called epidemic comes from my own experiences with Hydrocodone, as it's supposed to be highly addictive.

    When I had a hemorrhoid removed several years ago, I was prescribed Hydrocodone. Due to a prepping mistake made by my surgeon, my recovery time was far longer (three weeks) than the doctors thought it should be (about a week). I had to renew my prescription two or three times (I don't remember which) because the surgeon's mistake caused my stitches to rip frequently. Instead of treating me as someone whose surgeon had made a painful mistake, they viewed me as a drug addict (those retards told me that directly), and said they would not renew my prescription after this last one.

    Fortunately for me, I healed enough by the end of that last prescription to not need strong painkillers anymore. I still had a few pills left after my pain stopped, so I just kept them in the medicine cabinet as a reserve. As it turns out, the second hemorrhoid that the surgeon said wasn't bad enough to remove started flaring up a few months later, so I took the remaining pills to ease that pain. Fortunately for me, though, I discovered that regular bowel flushes with Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) caused my Hemorrhoid to stop flaring up.

    Hydrocodone was no more addictive to me than Tylenol, so I am very dubious about the motives of the people pushing this alleged epidemic.

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday May 25 2019, @02:51PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 25 2019, @02:51PM (#847604) Journal

    Skepticism is good. But, we should all realize that different people have different tolerances for substances. Some of us can take doses that should kill a horse, and suffer no consequences. Others of us have various reactions at extremely low doses of stuff.

    ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @03:14PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @03:14PM (#847614)

    Kudos for posting about hemorrhoids under your pseudonym. I had a flare up a couple years ago and while not removed, the doctor cut it to relieve the pressure. By the time I got home the pain was even worse and my wife called in for a pain killer. I was prescribed tramadol which I took I think for four or five days, maybe a week.

    Tramadol was interesting. It didn't make me high and it didn't take the pain away -- it simply made me totally apathetic about the pain. I knew the pain was there and at the same time, I didn't care. It was a strange drug to say the least. Without the tramadol though it was like being tortured -- it was insanely horrible. With it, I could get through those few days. I'm honestly very glad it was there for me and when I was done, I had no ill effects from using the tramadol - no withdrawals, no depression, nothing.

    Definitely going to look up the espom salt thing. Hemorrhoids are no joke.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @03:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @03:31PM (#847619)

      Oh butt they are ;)