‘Reports over the last few months about the proposed multi-billion-dollar settlements to end huge opioid-related lawsuits clearly reflect the attitude of drug manufacturers and distributors.
Even as they agree to pay record amounts, industry leaders and their public relations representatives maintain there is no connection between Big Pharma and narcotic addiction in the U.S.
Purdue Pharmaceuticals, which marketed the opiate derivative OxyContin as non-addictive, is demanding broad legal immunity in exchange for its $4.5 billion settlement.
With the announcement of the $26 billion offer, Michael Ullmann, executive vice president and general counsel of Johnson & Johnson, gave a carefully worded statement:
“We recognize the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue, and we have deep sympathy for everyone affected. This settlement will directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis in the United States.”
With consistent strategy, and in the wake of Big Pharma’s benevolent status for rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, the defendants are not taking any responsibility for contributing to the opioid epidemic.
Rather, for their billions, they are demanding all states and municipalities involved in all lawsuits agree to never again associate their products with drug addiction.
Corporations have offered to buy silence about their complicity in the death of half a million people over the last 20 years. This attempted bribe mirrors the morality of a continuing supply of addictive drugs to the uncounted millions who today suffer from prescribed opioid abuse.
Addicts who avoid or survive an overdose must navigate through a society that allows access to narcotics while designating the addicted as outcasts and criminals. Whether the source of their drugs is imported opiates or prescribed pain killers, their suffering is substantially enhanced by a hostile culture and negligent government oversight.
We have turned a blind eye to what is effectively a licensed drug cartel that exploits the vulnerable.
The attorney general of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, directly involved in both the Purdue and Johnson & Johnson lawsuits, gave a succinct analysis of his perspective:
“These deaths did not have to happen. This epidemic was manufactured by an army of pharmaceutical executives and drug distributors.”
Government regulators could have prevented this ongoing tragedy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), empowered to protect the public, has not been able to resist the commanding influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
The FDA continues to fail in minimizing the pain and suffering of addicts and their families, ravaged by a preventable epidemic of drug dependence.
Dr. Raeford Brown, a former head of the FDA advisory committee for approval of new opioid painkillers, in 2019 said:
“The modus operandi of the agency is that they talk a good game and then nothing happens. Working directly with the agency for the last five years, as I sit and listen to them in meetings, all I can think about is the clock ticking and how many people are dying every moment that they’re not doing anything. The lack of insight that continues to be exhibited by the agency is in many ways a willful blindness that borders on the criminal.”
The U.S. government’s war on drugs was misdirected: It should have been waged against the pharmaceutical industry.
But clearly, there hasn’t been an inclination to change anything, primarily because the FDA and Big Pharma have always had a mutually beneficial relationship.
Could it be because the opioid oversight division of the FDA relies on pharmaceutical giants for 75% of its budget? Or perhaps it is due to the revolving door between regulators at the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and drug industry professionals.
Both of these ongoing structural allowances are overt symptoms of the lack of will to end the flow of huge earnings.
Prescription drugs like Fentanyl and OxyContin, and similar opioids, have been abused because of profit-driven policies that result in ineffective efforts to regulate and restrict their use.
Even as acceptance of a settlement offer is considered, opioid addiction and its ensuing tragic consequences are on the increase.
Beyond huge civil suits, it seems there is no effort to reveal the details of the insidious relationship between profiteers and regulators — and not because the public isn’t aware of the destructive alliance.’https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/covid-vaccines-public-deserves-more-than-just-trust-us/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4ef62aac-dc30-4184-ae62-e53d1ceb3ab7