Money is Power! Legal Drugs for Profits, Pain, and Stupidity?
President Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar, Republican Congressmember Tom Marino, had to withdraw from consideration after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes” investigation found he led a drug industry-backed effort to pass a law that weakened the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on addictive opioids. Meanwhile, calls are growing to look at the major pharmaceutical companies that have fueled the opioid crisis.
A new investigation by Esquire magazine reveals how the secretive Sackler family, owners of the company that invented OxyContin, downplayed the risks of addiction and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength. We speak with Christopher Glazek, the Esquire reporter behind the story.
The OxyContin Cartel: Billionaire Family 16th Richest in the U.S.
Nearly four out of five new drug addicts say they started out abusing painkillers such as OxyContin. Prescription painkillers, according to NIDA, are the most commonly abused drug in the United States. It’s easy to get rich when healthcare providers write 259 million prescriptions for painkillers, enough for every American adult to have a bottle full of pills. We can thank these prescribers for generating much of the Sackler’s fortune. While we’re at it, we can also thank them for the 46 people who die from prescription painkiller overdoses each and everyday.