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.

 

Settled Law Revisited……

Update 5/17 @ 6:26 PM:

Elizabeth Warren has weighed in. She argues that Congress should act aggressively to enact legislation so in the event Roe-v-Wade is eventually overturned by the SCOTUS a womens rights to reproductive health would remain protected. Federal law  supersedes state law.

Her main arguments are highlighted below.  They make perfect sense and 71% of Americans, inclding 52% of republicans would agree. They do not Roe-v-Wade overtured.

  • Create federal, statutory rights that parallel the constitutional right in Roe v. Wade. The extremists behind proposals like the Alabama law don’t reflect public opinion in America. Polling data shows that 71% of Americans oppose overturning Roe — including 52% of Republicans. Congress should do its job and protect their constituents from these efforts by establishing affirmative, statutory rights that parallel Roe vs. Wade. These rights would have at least two key components. First, they must prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a health care provider to provide medical care, including abortion services. Second, they must prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a patient to access medical care, including abortion services, from a provider that offers them.
  • Pass federal laws to preempt state efforts that functionally limit access to reproductive health care. States have passed countless Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which are designed to functionally limit and eliminate women’s access to abortion care while not technically contravening Roe. Geographical, physical, and procedural restrictions and requirements. Restrictions on medication abortion. These kinds of restrictions are medically-unnecessary and exist for only one purpose: to functionally eliminate the ability of women to access abortion services. A bill already proposed in Congress, The Women’s Health Protection Act, would provide the mechanism to block these kinds of schemes concocted to deny women access to care. Congress should pass it.
  • Guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage. All women — no matter where they live, where they’re from, how much money they make, or the color of their skin — are entitled to access the high-quality, evidence-based reproductive health care that is envisioned by Roe. Making that a reality starts with repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks abortion coverage for women under federally funded health care programs like Medicaid, the VA, and the Indian Health Service. Congress should also expand culturally- and linguistically-appropriate services and information and include immigrant women in conversations about coverage and access. Congress must also pass the EACH Woman Act, which would also prohibit abortion restrictions on private insurance. And we should ensure that all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage.
  • Ensure equal access and reproductive justice. Securing a federal right to Roe and ensuring that reproductive health care is available to every woman in America is just the beginning. We must undo the current Administration’s efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care — including ending Trump’s gag rule and fully support Title X family planning funding. We must crack down on violence at abortion clinics and ensure that women are not discriminated against at work or anywhere else for the choices they made about their bodies.
  • Guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage. All women — no matter where they live, where they’re from, how much money they make, or the color of their skin — are entitled to access the high-quality, evidence-based reproductive health care that is envisioned by Roe. Making that a reality starts with repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks abortion coverage for women under federally funded health care programs like Medicaid, the VA, and the Indian Health Service. Congress should also expand culturally- and linguistically-appropriate services and information and include immigrant women in conversations about coverage and access. Congress must also pass the EACH Woman Act, which would also prohibit abortion restrictions on private insurance. And we should ensure that all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage.
  • Ensure equal access and reproductive justice. Securing a federal right to Roe and ensuring that reproductive health care is available to every woman in America is just the beginning. We must undo the current Administration’s efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care — including ending Trump’s gag rule and fully support Title X family planning funding. We must crack down on violence at abortion clinics and ensure that women are not discriminated against at work or anywhere else for the choices they made about their bodies.

Full Article Under the Fold.

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So, in 1973 Roe -v- Wade became the law of the land giving women the right to control their own bodies. Granting women the right to access safe and legal abortion was arguably the ethical and moral thing to do. Now, in 2019 the State of Alabama has decided it knows better and passed a ridiculously stupid anti abortion law. A law that would make ALL abortion illegal, with the sole exception of when giving birth would endanger the life of the women.

Of course not one single woman voted for the anti abortion legislation. Not that there are many women in the Alabama legislature. But one thing is for certain, Alabama sure has a gaggle of conservative evangelical men who think they know by far better what is right for women and society than the Majority of the rest of the country. In fairness to Alabama there are other states trundling down the same slope.

As I read through the many media reports after the law passed two things in the law stood out as the most glaring examples of outright stupidity I’ve seen of late. The law makes no exception for rape or incest. So, if a women is forcibly raped and the rape results in a pregnancy the women would be forced by the state to carry the monsters child to term. Same for a women impregnated by a male relative. For me this raises a few questions.

Since the state of Alabama wishes to force a women to carry a rapist’s child against her will, just as she was forced by the rapist to have sex, it only seems right and proper that the state assume responsibility for her care during the pregnancy as well as carrying the burden of delivery costs. It also would be right and proper for the state to pick up all costs for child care until suitable adoptive parents are found. Incest is not necessarily an act of forced sex, but sometimes it is. Which of course puts it on the same level as rape.

It is considered safe for 1’st cousins and outward to give birth to a child as the likelihood of genetic defects is no greater than that of the general population. Unless the families are known to be full of harmful recessives (recessive genes). However, closer relatives engaging in a incestuous relationship where a history of recessive genes are evident in both can and often does lead to serious genetic defects in the child. Aborting a fetus in this case is, simply put, the humane decision. Both for the fetus and for the parents.

Of course the Alabama law is headed for the Supreme Court. Which is precisely the real goal of the Alabama law. It is the test case always dreamt of by male right-wing conservative religious evangelicals to overturn Roe-v-Wade. The hopes of the anti choice movement is to return the USA to the dark ages and back alley abortions. Which if this horrid law is upheld is exactly what will happen.

Those are my heartfelt views. I would love to hear yours.

Related article I came across that you may very well find interesting. It certainly offer fodder for rational discussion if one chooses.

Broader Implications of ‘My Body, My Choice’

Abortion Ban in Alabama Designed ‘To Directly Challenge Roe v. Wade’

Continue reading Settled Law Revisited……

When Religous Considerations Stand In the Way of Reason……

America during the age of Trumpism is becoming more anal by the day it seems. Regardless how damn hard one works to grasp and understand America’s objection to this United Nations resolution it has been impossible to do so. Perhaps it’s just me?

 

Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance

The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats.

The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual violence in conflict.

But the draft resolution has already been stripped of one of its most important elements, the establishment of a formal mechanism to monitor and report atrocities, because of opposition from the US, Russia and China, which opposed creating a new monitoring body.

Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics. In recent months, the Trump administration has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions. It has also opposed the use of the word “gender”, seeking it as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.

“We are not even sure whether we are having the resolution tomorrow, because of the threats of a veto from the US,” Pramila Patten, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, told the Guardian.

More Below the Fold

Is Single Payer a Possibility?

“My critics will say that Trump, uncharacteristically, puts too much faith in bureaucracy; a single-payer plan would generate a gigantic agency to distribute funds to doctors. I’d point out that by creating one agency we do away with hundreds of smaller ones that are hard to monitor.” —Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 2000

My my my, apparently Trump had a right-wing epiphany over the ensuing 17 years since his 2000 position. But did he really? If Trump is nothing else he prides himself on being a winner. Irrespective of the conventional wisdom that he couldn’t win the presidency in 2016 he did. He identified the angst of millions of Americans and was able to ride that to victory.

Trump wants to win. He used conservatism and the electoral advantage the GOP has to ride to victory. He’s talked out of both sides of his mouth on multiple issues and he’s angered his own party as well as his opponents. It is clear that Trump is his own man and he doesn’t care who he pis*es off. He concern is winning and neither consistency nor ideology will he let stand in his way. He’ll do whatever he believes will make him a winner.

This also makes him a formidable adversary as well as dangerous. Why? Simply because he is a man with few, if any core values. Other than winning that is. Wish for the best but prepare for the worst. That is the position he puts us all in all the time.

Back to the opening quote. Who knows what healthcare will look like when Trump leaves office. Assuming he makes it a full term, or two. If he does it is possible that maybe the good ole US of A may actually have a civilized system that insures health care for ALL American citizens.

With Trump anybody’s guess is as good as the next. Remember, Trump likes to win. Somehow I think that may be working in the American people’s favor on this issue.

This article is an interesting read.