07.04.2018 Author: Martin Berger

Who is Profiting from the Opioid Epidemic in the US?


From a handful of examples that was listed in my previous article one can safely come to a conclusion that this latest opioid epidemic in America threatens the very existence of the United States. However, the most disturbing fact about this epidemic is that it was staged deliberately by the so-called Big Pharma in a bid to obtain super profits from it. However, this epidemic would be impossible to launch with a conscious consent of a wide range of medical practitioners that chose to be partners in crime with the Big Pharma. However, as companies earn billions upon billions of dollars on the now somehow legal opioid drugs, they couldn’t care less about thousands of people dying every year from their dangerous addiction to painkillers.

Follow the Cash Flow

It seems that most people remain ignorant of the fact that the widely used OxyContin painkiller is chemically identical to heroine. This drug has been in production since 1995 and all of the profits coming from it sales have made the Sackler family unbelievably rich.

The former head of this family – Arthur M. Sackler can be described as the embodiment of the American dream. Upon graduating from the New York University School of Medicine in the middle of the last century he would enter the market of medical advertising and trade publications, choosing on more than one occasion to fabricate reviews for the products he was trying to advance on the market. He would advertise all sorts of major tranquilizers that were used originally as a part of anti-psychotic treatment. However, Arthur M. Sackler would try to persuade medical practitioners to recommend these drugs to a wide range of patients, even to those who were mildly irritated before their exams. Thanks to his tactics by 1973 American doctors began to prescribe over 100 million prescriptions for tranquilizers per year. During this period of time, the overnight millionaire mastered his skills of deceit and bribery by inviting medical practitioners to all sorts of conferences booked in fancy hotels and resorts.

A massive anti-pain campaign was the next step of the now wealthy Sackler family, as those practitioners corrupted by Arthur M. Sackler would tell their patients that enduring even minor pain was somehow an indignifying experience. The advertising campaign quickly swept America which resulted in the permission to issue OxyContin freely in some states, without even charging for it, as those who received it would soon come back for more.

By year 2000, the OxyContin was bringing the Sacklers a billion dollars a year. Predictably enough, this drug would cause habituation in patients, resulting in the necessary dose constantly growing. Those who tried to quit would experience a major breakdown and had to go to the doctor again for a prescription. Those who did not have enough money, switched to heroin – the nearest relative of OxyContin. As a consequence, a black market of pain relievers quickly arose across the US.

There’s been hundreds lawsuits filed against Purdue Pharma by the relatives of those who died from overdose and drug addiction, but time and time again it would settle the dispute before receiving any major fines or managing to get away with minor ones.

Sacklers the Great

However, ten years after the moment when OxyContin started providing Purdue Pharma with super-profits it had to stop its production. However, it was quickly replaced by a chemically identical drug with a similar name, as the opioid epidemic reached became the all-American curse. By year 2010, medical practitioners would be handing out 250 million opioid prescriptions a year, which resulted in Americans consuming a third of all opioids produced in the world.

Not surprisingly, the Sackler family would remain one of the richest clans in the United States. Forbes estimates their fortune at 13 billion dollars at an annual income of 700 million dollars. Arthur Sackler himself died in 1987.

But his useful skills were adopted by his nephews as they skillfully manage charitable foundations and non-profit organizations, while receiving orders and medals for philanthropy and patronage. Moreover, they’re paying scholarships to gifted students and beginning doctors so that would allow them to sow the deadly seeds of opioids for years to come.

However, what is most disturbing is that behind the opioid epidemic in the US enjoy not only life, but also universal respect. Nobody goes as far as criticize them, let alone their cases being investigated by brave prosecutors, no one launches protests against their deadly business. The name of Arthur Sackler remains enshrined in the Hall of Fame of medical marketing.

Purdue Pharma is now increasing its presence on the international market, as medical communities in Brazil, China, Mexico, and the Middle East are handled according to a well-known scheme.

As it’s been pointed out by Zero Hedge:

America’s worsening opioid crisis has helped create a generation of men whose struggles with addiction are preventing them from finding, and holding, steady jobs.

The seeds of the opioid crisis were planted in the 1990s as doctors liberally prescribed dangerous painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin. Today, 15%, or one in seven, men between 25 and 54 are inexplicably missing from the workforce, despite the unemployment rate purportedly declining to 4.4% in June.

So when all the actors are known and their deeds are well documented, why does the opioid epidemic continue to spread across the US, while starting to reach different continents under the influence of the “sole superpower”? Why do Americans keep tolerating those are who profiting from death and misery of their fellow-citizens?

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”