Big Pharma To Pay Handsomely (but not enough) For Its Role In Creating the Opioid Epidemic…

It’s about time big pharma paid a crushing penalty for its role in creating the opioid epidemic. Companies who lie to doctors and the public about the dangers of addiction using their product deserve to go bankrupt. Unfortunately the proposed settlement doesn’t go far enough. The Sacklers out to be made penniless as well as being required to admit guilt as a punishment for their crimes against humanity.

Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of blockbuster painkiller OxyContin, reached a tentative settlement Wednesday with 23 states and more than 2,000 cities and counties that sued the company over its role in the opioid crisis, according to attorneys involved in the deal.

The executive committee of lawyers representing cities, counties and other groups in a federal lawsuit against Purdue and other drug companies is recommending the deal be accepted. But more than half the state attorneys general in the U.S. balked, saying they planned to continue pursuing the company and its owners, the Sackler family.

Under terms of a plan negotiated for months, the Sacklers would relinquish control of Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma and admit no wrongdoing. The company would declare bankruptcy and be resurrected as a trust whose main purpose would be producing medications to combat the opioid epidemic.

There is a medication that can in many instances effectively can replace opioids. A naturally growing flower that can effectively treat pain, post traumatic stress syndrome, insomnia, anxiety, arthritis, GERD, and a host of other ailments.

The United States government for a period of 90 years created a false meme that cannabis has no medicinal value and then used it as bludgeon in its barbaric and failed “War on Drugs”. In the process damaging, often irrevocably, the live of thousands if not millions of otherwise law abiding citizens. Most noticeably the minority populations in America.

I know you can’t sue the federal government but perhaps the United States Government should be sued in court and made to pay for its role in helping to create the opioid epidemic while it attempted to control its subjects use of a MUCH safer product that effectively relives pain.

I know the above to be true. I have had a medical marijuana card for just over a year, and frankly ii gave me the opportunity to improve my quality of life immeasurably!  But I digress.

If the deal becomes final, it would be the first comprehensive settlement in the broad effort to hold drug companies accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. To date, Purdue has also settled with one state, Oklahoma, for $270 million, and won a victory when a North Dakota judge threw out that state’s case against the company.

The deal also would mark the demise of Purdue as a private company widely blamed for its role in driving the prescription opioid epidemic in the late 1990s and the first years of this century. In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading doctors and the public about the safety of OxyContin and paid a $635 million fine.

The prescription drug epidemic has taken more than 200,000 lives via overdoses since 1999, according to federal statistics. An additional 200,000 deaths are blamed on overdoses from heroin and illegal fentanyl smuggled into the country from China and Mexico.

I note here that there is no record of even ONE person dying as a result of cannabis use.  Not one.

On Wednesday, the divide over the settlement broke down largely along party lines, with most Republican state attorneys general in favor of it and Democrats largely opposed. The states openly opposing the deal — including California, Connecticut, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania — could take their objections to bankruptcy court and tie up the proceedings for years, some experts said.

“These people are among the most responsible for the trail of death and destruction the opioid epidemic has left in its wake,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who plans to sue the Sacklers personally.

“This apparent settlement is a slap in the face to everyone who has had to bury a loved one due to this family’s destruction and greed,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “It allows the Sackler family to walk away billionaires and admit no wrongdoing.”

Much more BELOW the FOLD.

 

Remembering 911, We Shall Never Forget…

As we solemnly remember that horrific day 18 years ago when the Twin Towers collapsed and 2,977 souls were lost, the result of an Islamic terror attack on the USA, it would be well to consider and understand the following.

FP – Sept. 11, 2019 marks the 18th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in world history. It also marks a generational shift, with American children born after that date entering adulthood having grown up with their country perpetually fighting a so-called war on terror. The 9/11 attacks and their immediate aftermath belong to an era before Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

It’s hard for this younger generation to imagine a time when the U.S. communications system crashed and the Internet seemed to break, at least temporarily, as frantic Americans scrambled to learn about the fate of friends and relatives while false reports and rumors ran rife. In today’s information-saturated environment, it is difficult for them to internalize the confusion of the time, when Americans wondered about the scope of the attack, the perpetrators behind it, and what the country would do in response.

As a professor at Georgetown University who teaches courses on terrorism and counterterrorism, I am reminded every day of how 9/11 is shifting from lived experience to history. My students’ views about al Qaeda are influenced by the emergence of the Islamic State, which captured world attention in 2014 with its beheadings, rapid military advances in Iraq, and declaration of a caliphate—around the time today’s freshmen turned 13. Despite the immediacy of terrorism and its role in the popular imagination, students’ understanding of it is often incomplete, both regarding the danger itself and the U.S. response.
The 9/11 attacks represent an outlier. More than 10 times as many people died on that day as have died in any single terrorist attack before or after in the United States.
In the first years after 9/11, my students and I feared that terrorism would grow ever more dangerous: Student papers in that period dwelled on lurid scenarios involving smallpox, miniature armies of jihadi snipers, and other nightmares.

However, even more sober predictions that 9/11 would lead terrorists to escalate further, either in the form of even more spectacular strikes or of chemical, biological, and radiological attacks, have not materialized. The worst jihadi attack on U.S. soil since then—Omar Mateen’s killing of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which he claimed was carried out in the name of Islamic State—involved no direct link to the terrorist group and seems more akin to one of the many mass shootings making up the United States’ sorry record on gun violence than to a 9/11-style attack.

In addition to its unique lethality, 9/11 was also an outlier in terms of competence and capability. Mohamed Atta, the quiet and determined commander of the 19 hijackers, initially left Germany because he wanted to fight the Russians in Chechnya and got recruited for the 9/11 operation while training in Afghanistan.

He worked with senior al Qaeda commanders who exploited a truly global network spanning Afghanistan, Europe, Malaysia, and the Persian Gulf states, as well as the United States, to conduct the attacks. Students tend to see Atta and the global training and logistical network on which he drew as the norm, but he was not. He was exceptional.

Indeed, much of my time in the classroom is spent explaining the reasons that terrorists often fail, particularly if they attempt such ambitious plots. A few terrorists are steely-eyed professionals, but most—especially those who operate on U.S. soil—are untrained bumblers, rarely able to build a bomb, let alone orchestrate simultaneous mass-casualty attacks.Rather than keep their heads down, they boast about their plans on social media and are quickly arrested by the FBI. One bragged about the Islamic State flag tattooed on his back. Many do more damage to themselves than they do to the enemy. One Islamic State fighter in Syria blew himself up with his own drone bomb when it exploded after he flew the drone back toward him to replace a low battery.

Others who, like Atta, make it overseas to join a group like al Qaeda or the Islamic State often end up consumed by local civil wars rather than spending their time plotting attacks on the United States, and those who do turn to international terrorism are more likely to be caught and disrupted.

The common conflation of al Qaeda on 9/11 with the Islamic State today sows confusion. The primary goal of the latter was to build and expand its caliphate, and most of the foreigners who went to Syria fought (and many died) there, rather than training for terrorist attacks in the West. Some Islamic State members or supporters did plot and attack in the United States and Europe, but there were far fewer successes than anticipated.

The United States and many other countries have also developed a massive apparatus to identify potential recruits before they go, monitor those who leave, and prevent their travel. In some cases, these governments kill such fighters in foreign war zones. France, for example, worked with Iraqi forces to hunt down French nationals who had joined jihadi groups there.