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By Pete Moore On November 24th, 2020

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges, formally taking responsibility for its part in an opioid epidemic that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths […] In a virtual hearing with a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, the OxyContin maker admitted impeding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s efforts to combat the addiction crisis.

Purdue acknowledged that it had not maintained an effective program to prevent prescription drugs from being diverted to the black market, even though it had told the DEA it did have such a program, and that it provided misleading information to the agency as a way to boost company manufacturing quotas.

It also admitted paying doctors through a speakers program to induce them to write more prescriptions for its painkillers.

And it admitted paying an electronic medical records company to send doctors information on patients that encouraged them to prescribe opioids.

Every day the media tells us to be scared of this or that bogeyman. Think of big nothings like QAnon or the Proud Boys. But the harm the Sacklers and their chims have done to Americans is off the scale. Who has even heard of them or know that they look like?


  1. Not sure what the coverage is like in the UK but the story had plenty of coverage in the US. This particular bit of news seems to be just bookkeeping.

    From your link
    “They were part of a criminal and civil settlement announced last month between the Stamford, Connecticut-based company and the Justice Department.”

    The guilty plea back then did get a lot of coverage.

  2. Big pharma in the US aggressively markets serious drugs to doctors and even to the general public, via TV ads.

    That itself is part of a big problem, a problem that goes beyond opioids.

  3. An old advert for Oxycontin, saying falsely that it wasn’t very addictive and saying that such drugs should be used more.


  4. The UK also has a problem with prescription drugs. It’s not hard to imagine that the pandemic will only make it worse, given the damage that we know lockdowns do to mental health.

  5. The US overall drug overdose death rate rate has flattened but it remains very high – about three times higher than it was in 2000.

    Very much of that increase would have come from prescription Ocycontin, which was first sold in the US in 1996, and which had huge growth .

    Doctors and dentists used to hand out OxyContin fairly liberally here.

    Oxy has legitimate uses, but you can easily become addicted to it. It’s made with opium after all.

    Germany has only about 10% the drug overdose rate of the US. A major reason is that German doctors are much more disciplined than US doctors in handing out these pills. In Germany, and in Europe generally, things like Oxy after an operation are usually a last resort, not a first choice.

    A friend in Connecticut years ago Had a wisdom tooth removed. To his amazement, the dentist gave him OxyContin. He never used it, Extra strength Tylenol was able to help him deal with the pain.


  6. This is the biggest scam and shakedown ever pulled.

    They Fleece big Pharma and blame it for the “OPIOD” Deaths…… Yes Dr’s and Dentists gave out a lot of Pills and yes there is huge black market, but the percentage of addicts that started using hard drugs in this manner is less than 3%, the Overdose Deaths from Pills/Oxy and all other “opiod” pills is less than 1% of the overdose deaths.

    Phantom I’d be interested in seeing those flattened numbers. (not kidding or being a dick) from what I’ve witnessed firsthand is the deaths over the past 10mths have increased dramatically.

    During this “Wonderful Initiative” to fight the “Opioid” Epidemic, not one addict has been saved from ODing, not one New Rehab has opened, not one person that is suffering has been helped, or aided in any way.

    The “Opioid” epidemic is due to a cocktail of two Drugs sold as one. It’s Heroin combined with Fentanyl. NOT Legally made Drugs. Over the past ten years the deaths have risen from an avg of 49,000 a year to 79,000 a year.

    No other issue better exemplifies why Government can not address this type od problem. What they have done is change the name of the problem to an “Opioid” problem combined with a multimillion dollar pr branding campaign to shakedown big pharma.

    Not one person suffering from “Opioid” addiction has been helped and Millions of people that have chronic pain have been treated like criminals and can no longer get the medication they need for a decent quality of life.

  7. Personal experience should never be used to form opinions about a national problem

    The flattening , Which may not last, can be seen in the link I sent

    Purdue Pharma did dirty things, Many of them

    They tried to push these addictive pills big time in Europe also, but the European regulators wouldn’t let them.

    The NHS and Others there saved many lives – It’s not a coincidence that Europe has a much lower opioid death rate than the USA

  8. yes god forbid don’t believe your eyes believe what the politicians tell you.

    So tell me Phantom the chart on link shows deaths in every group dropping in 2017-2019 time range.

    Deaths from overdose

    Drug Overdose Deaths In 2018, 67,367
    Drug overdose deaths in the United States rose 4.6% in 2019 to 70,980,
    2019 Compared to the same period last year, when there were 16,682 overdose deaths, 19,416 Americans died of drug overdoses between January and March of 2020. In total, the CDC estimates that there will be more than 75,500 fatal overdoses by the end of the year.

    so where’s the drop ?

  9. We lose more people in one year from Drug Overdose than we did in the ENTIRE length of the Vietnam War.

  10. For each year, rates were higher for males than females. For males, the rate increased from 8.2 in 1999 to 29.1 in 2017, then decreased to 27.9 in 2018. For females, the rate increased from 3.9 in 1999 to 14.4 in 2017, then decreased to 13.6 in 2018

    I am not listening to politicians at all here

    There has been poor regulation in hard prescription opioids here, only now starting to be fixed

  11. Percentages…. what that tells you is that the number of users increased. If the body count rose but they claim the percentage went down they are admitting an increase in usage. Not a decline in deaths.

    The attack on Prescription drugs has created misery among the sick while not doing a damn thing for the addict.

    They’re claiming to be fixing a problem while ignoring the suffering victims.

    You can and they just about completely have shut down the legal prescriptions while the Overdose deaths….. IN BODIES continues to grow.

    The only thing that the government could do to help fight this problem is offer FREE 90 day minimum Rehab programs for anyone who wants them.

    Right now if you can get in a program you’re lucky if you can get 28days and usually only once.

  12. This topic tears me apart. If there is a hell it’s the life of these people.

    Addiction is a mental disease caused by an underlying issue or trauma in a persons life.

    The symptom must be dealt with first, but it is only a symptom. Drug/Alcohol addiction is a coping mechanism, but it becomes worst than the underlying problem and once caught in the cycle of addiction you have less than a ten percent chance of gaining control of the symptom of addiction and less than 10% of those that manage to control the symptom go on to work on the underlying issue that caused the addiction.

  13. We need to control prescriptions for these powerful and addictive drugs

    And yes doing so is hard but it is not as hard as not controlling them

  14. “Yes Dr’s and Dentists gave out a lot of Pills and yes there is huge black market, but the percentage of addicts that started using hard drugs in this manner is less than 3%”

    I’m not sure that is true anymore. Historically yes, but not so much anymore.


    A study of young, urban injection drug users interviewed in 2008 and 2009 found that 86 percent had used opioid pain relievers nonmedically prior to using heroin, and their initiation into nonmedical use was characterized by three main sources of opioids: family, friends, or personal prescriptions. This rate represents a shift from historical trends. Of people entering treatment for heroin addiction who began abusing opioids in the 1960s, more than 80 percent started with heroin. Of those who began abusing opioids in the 2000s, 75 percent reported that their first opioid was a prescription drug. Examining national-level general population heroin data (including those in and not in treatment), nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin.

  15. US opioid deaths skyrocketed immediately after the widespread marketing of Oxy

    The Sackler family has a lot to answer for

    Many bad things happened under their watch

  16. By 2017, Purdue’s chief executive, Craig Landau, wrote that the crisis was caused by “too many Rxs being written” at “too high a dose” and “for too long.” The drugs, he said, were being prescribed “for conditions that often don’t require them” by physicians who lacked “the requisite training in how to use them appropriately.”


    The company in internal documents admitted it

    Years earlier, McKinsey developed a plan to “ turbocharge “ sales of these opioids.

    And that’s how you turbocharge a drug crisis – here, aggressive marketing of opioids by corporations. A thing that was not tolerated in Europe.