USA: OTC Opioid Crisis Continues due to Cash!!!

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18% Increase in opioid deaths for every three payments made to doctors

New research has found that payments from Big Pharma to doctors is associated with increased overdose deaths.

The study looked at payments worth $39.7 million made to doctors in 2,200 US counties between August 2013 and December 2015. These payments were primarily for meals, travel costs, speaking, and consulting. It found that in a given county of 100,000 people, three additional payments to physicians were linked to 18% more prescription opioid deaths.

These results attest to the devastating effect of Big Pharma’s cosy relationship with doctors. This research comes in the same week as the release of Massachusetts court documents which detail the appalling marketing practices of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of addictive painkiller Oxycontin.

The Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharmaceuticals, are being sued for misleading doctors and patients about the dangers of its opioid medications in order to boost sales and keep patients away from safer, less addictive alternatives. Court documents show that when sales flattened in 2014, Purdue doggedly focused on selling more to “high value” prescribers — typically doctors who the company had been warned were involved in diversion and abuse.

Even after being warned about the risks of Oxycontin, executives continued to prioritise profits over public health. One exchange between Richard Sackler and Robert Kaiko, the drug’s inventor, is particularly revealing. Kaiko warned that oxycodone-containing products were among the most abused opioids in the US and predicted that “If Oxycontin is uncontrolled, … it is highly likely that it will eventually be abused”. Sackler responded: “How substantially would it improve your sales?

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The cosy relationship between big pharma and doctors is killing people

In America, almost 100 people are dying from opioids every day. Some experts predict that half a million more people will die over the next decade . Others think it will be closer to 650,0001 — the population of Miami, or Atlanta, or Sacramento. President Trump has rightly declared the crisis a “public health emergency”. For more


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