D H
Aug 8 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

Are Purdue responsible for the opioid epidemic?

In late 2020 Purdue Pharmaceuticals settled a lawsuit for $8 billion, pleading guilty to three criminal charges related to the opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharmaceuticals will become a public benefit company and run by a trust that is responsible for running the company to the benefit of American public health, without involvement from the founding Sackler family. The company has been at the centre of opioid epidemic litigation, but can one company really be responsible for the huge complexities of such a widespread public health issue? Or is Purdue a scapegoat for a much more toxic environment or a culture of misconduct? Are Purdue responsible for the opioid epidemic?
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Unrestrained profit in healthcare is the underlying issue
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Doctors are also to blame
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Yes, laid the foundation singlehandedly
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Not the only company
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Unrestrained profit in healthcare is the underlying issue

Unrestrained profit in healthcare is the underlying issue that drove the opioid epidemic and Medicare4All, or any other form of socialised medical system, is the only solution to this not repeating itself. Social healthcare is the only thing that will remove the underlying problem from United States healthcare, the profit motive, as people are profitable when sick, and keeping them sick and addicted has generated billions for the worst actors in the US pharmaceuticals industry. As soon as this is removed and American healthcare can be treated like a public good, and not an industry to profit from, the sooner American healthcare can transition to actually being about health and away from being about the most profitable version of sickness management.

independent.co.uk/voices/medicare-all-opioid-crisis-johnson-lawsuit-healthcare-reform-2020-pharma-a9082771.html ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK217902 graceg1971a.wixsite.com/healingnaturallydrgg/single-post/2014/09/29/Danger-Sickness-is-Profitable

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D H
Aug 9
Created

Doctors are also to blame

Doctors were the ones actually prescribing and pushing Perdue pharmaceutical’s highly addictive drugs, they are meant to have taken the Hippocratic Oath and sworn to 'first, do no harm', this is not the case from the doctors who profited from the American opioid crisis. The money and benefits doctors received from pharmaceutical companies encourage them to prescribe certain opioids that may not be as effective as a competitor’s drug, which may have not even been an opioid drug. Employees from pharmaceutical companies involved in the opioid epidemic, such as Insys, have spoken of a colour coding system that was used to find the type of doctors that would be open to profiteering from pushing opiate medication. American needs a tighter medical code and to refresh the culture of 'do no harm' in the minds of American doctors. While the US opioid crisis is a complex web of corporate and legislative failings, some profiteering doctors were there on the front lines failing their patients, their role should be acknowledged too.

english.umd.edu/research-innovation/journals/interpolations/fall-2019/doctors-opioid-epidemics-biggest-contributor larson.law/opioid-crisis-holding-doctors-accountable patient.info/doctor/Medical-Ethics aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2019/insys-opioid-bribery-case.html

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D H
Aug 9
Created

Yes, laid the foundation singlehandedly

Purdue pretty much laid the foundation for the opioid epidemic, being run by the Sackler family as a sort of healthcare crime syndicate, members of the Sackler family lied under oath, paid doctors to effectively push Oxycontin, and paid to keep what they were doing hidden. Arthur Sackler became famous for bringing a hard sell business model to selling drugs, pitching directly and aggressively to doctors, Purdue profited massively and decades later the same model was used to push pain medication that was previously confined to palliative patients. All the while Purdue were well aware of the effect their drugs were having, employees referencing "street value," "crush," and "snort" in internal company memos that came to light in May 2018. 76% of heroin addicts in the US started out abusing pharmaceutical narcotics, primarily OxyContin, according to New England Journal of Medicine, which indicated Purdue's responsibility in the opioid epidemic directly. Purdue’s fraudulent efforts to expend their market beyond cancer patients and end of life care massive drove opiate drug addiction in the United States that grew to massive proportions and what we now call the opioid crisis.

nytimes.com/2017/07/19/business/raymond-sackler-dead-of-purdue-pharma.html web.archive.org/web/20160307210054/https://addictionunscripted.com/kingpinsoxycontin-heroin-and-the-sackler-sinaloa-connection rtd.rt.com/stories/opioids

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D H
Aug 9
Created

Not the only company

Yes Purdue mislabeled and pushed OxyContin but the opioid epidemic is a much more complex issue than this one crime, and to understand the issue fully we should be looking at all actors and even factoring in societal trauma. But taking just the drugs into consideration Fentanyl had a large effect on opioid epidemic and was actually an older drug with no ties to Purdue, and Fentanyl is the number one cause of accidental opioid overdose in the United States. A company called Insys sold "Subsys" - oral Fentanyl and are the only company to be prosecuted for their role in mis-selling opiates, for which some of their employees have been sent to jail. Purdue were not alone in their crimes, just the first of this kind; Cardinal health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson are major players in mis-selling opiates, and Johnson and Johnson were even responsible for supplying Purdue with the Oxycodone that they manufactured into the slow release “contin” system.

abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/wva-lawsuit-opioid-makers-set-2021-trial-79295195 wsj.com/articles/insys-sells-subsys-opioid-at-center-of-racketeering-case-11567528056 aboutlawsuits.com/subsys-fentanyl-investigation-64955 ohtheme.com/fentanyl-is-now-the-1-cause-of-opioid-overdose-deaths

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D H
Aug 9
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Yes Purdue mislabeled and pushed OxyContin but the opioid epidemic is a much more complex issue than this one crime, and to understand the issue fully we should be looking at all actors and even factoring in societal trauma. But taking just the drugs into consideration Fentanyl had a large effect on opioid epidemic and was actually an older drug with no ties to Purdue, and Fentanyl is the number one cause of accidental opioid overdose in the United States. A company called Insys sold "Subsys" - oral Fentanyl and are the only company to be prosecuted for their role in mis-selling opiates, for which some of their employees have been sent to jail. Purdue were not alone in their crimes, just the first of this kind; Cardinal health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson are major players in mis-selling opiates, and Johnson and Johnson were even responsible for supplying Purdue with the Oxycodone that they manufactured into the slow release “contin” system.
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