Exploring Human Potential

Who’s This? The Man In The Shadows.

Hint: Created 1st ever TV drug advertorial in 1957, died 30 years later leaving a legacy of death and human destruction. Answer: Arthur Sackler, father of the Manmade Opioid Epidemic and deceptive medical marketing.

Excerpted from CODE BLUE: Inside the Medical Industrial Complex”. PURCHASE HERE.

“Arthur Sackler’s biography is somewhat murky, especially the story of his early years, in which he passed through various guises and settings like a medical-industrial version of Woody Allen’s Zelig, the human chameleon who showed up everywhere.

Born in Brooklyn in 1913, Arthur Mitchell Sackler was the son of immigrants from the Ukraine and Poland.4 He had two younger brothers, Mortimer and Raymond, each of whom followed his lead into the medical business. 

Over his lifetime, Sackler actively groomed a rags-to-riches narrative, but by the time he was 24, he had completed college and medical school, married his beautiful and sophisticated first wife, Else Finnich Jorgensen, and was already collecting art.5 After a year of general medical training, he jumped into pharmaceuticals. Within just three years, young Sackler somehow become head of the medical research division at Schering Corporation, an American subsidiary of the German parent company Schering AG, as America prepared for war.6,7

With the wartime US government seizing the assets of German companies, Sackler’s term at Schering was short-lived. By 1942, the company was government controlled, but he recovered quickly, joining the William Douglas McAdams advertising agency in sales and marketing rather than the Army, and within five short years, while most doctors his age were overseas serving their country in war zones, he somehow gained a controlling interest in the firm.8,9 

The source of his good fortune and funding remains a mystery. Clearly he was an opportunist. As thousands of shell-shocked veterans streamed into US mental hospitals during and after the war, he enrolled in a psychiatric residency at New York’s Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, and saw psychotropic drugs as their salvation, and his future goldmine.10

Before dying in 1987, he would give birth to the “detail man”, DTC advertising, prescription physician profiling in partnership with the AMA, pharma supported continuing medical education (CME), and plant the seeds for a manmade opioid epidemic that would reverse rises in the survival curve in America.” 

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