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Day of Reckoning on Opioids: Pharmacy Chains

Posted on | November 8, 2019 | No Comments

Source: Washington Post

For those responsible for igniting the manmade opioid disaster, a day of reckoning is fast approaching. Of course Pharma is in the cross-hairs – notably Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, J&J, Endo Health Solutions and Actavis. Then come the wholesale drug distributors including AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NYSE:ABC), Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) and McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK). Now giant retail conglomerates like CVS and Walgreen’s are also be caught in the snare.

In this last category, Walgreen’s and CVS are especially vulnerable since their wholesale operations acted as the inside distributor for their retail outlets. Walgreens supplied nearly 100% of their own sales of Oxycontin while CVS supplied more than half of their addictive output. Along the way, as distributors, they carried the liability of ignoring warning signs and government requirements to report unusually large purchases and irregularities in consumption, while bathing in the financial rewards.

For now enablers like the AMA have remained unscathed. They accepted into their Federation a new Pharma-funded  pain society which convinced the nation’s doctors that pain was the “5th vital sign”. The AMA also sold its Physician Masterfile Database to data miner IMS Health which allowed the opioid companies to target physicians through prescription profiling who were already sloppy prescribers. AMA sales of the data in 2006 alone brought in $44.5 million.

And let’s not forget a range of bottom feeders like Rudy Giuliani who Purdue Pharma hired to get Bush Administration officials to stand down in their planned prosecution of the company in 2004. Consider the lives that might have been saved had they failed.

But now, the sheer scale of the disaster has caught up with many, if not all of the Medical Industrial Complex offenders. Attorney Mike Moore is leading over 30 state attorney generals in litigation, as he did in the 90’s with tobacco companies. Purdue Pharma is pursuing bankruptcy with states and municipalities pursuing the kind of claw-back on hidden Purdue family money that is reminiscent of the Bernard Madoff affair.

Still and all, it’s pretty shocking that you can literally bring down your entire economy when a greedy profiteering group of health sectors decide to conspire and enable each other. No wonder a sizable portion of the nation is in favor of injecting a healthy dose of “good government” into the health care system. They’re not voting for socialism, they’re voting against conspiracy, collusion, death and the destruction of America’s economy.

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