The more time passes, the more stories we’re hearing about how doctors and drug companies convinced people opiate drugs are entirely without risk. While it’s true that narcotics are critical for people who truly need them, irresponsible manufacturing and marketing processes, like paying doctors kickbacks to prescribe, have led our country down a very dark path.
In Appalachia, Fentanyl claims multiple lives every single day.
Alaska, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Maine and Oregon all have an incredibly high rate of teen opiate abuse and overdoses. And Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi have the highest prescribing rates in the country.
Addictions destroy lives — but Big Pharma has little care about that as long as they continue to rake in the money.
Now, Vermont’s Attorney General is taking action by suing the Sackler family for deceptive marketing. But who exactly are the Sacklers, and why this is such an important move?
- The Sackler Family, who originated in England and later emigrated to the United States, founded Purdue Pharma, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. This is the same company responsible for marketing Fentanyl and oxycodone.
- Attorney General Donovan believes, “the Sackler defendants directed and condoned deceptive acts” that directly contributed to the state of the opioid crisis here on American soil. “Thousands of Vermonters’ lives have been impacted,” he explains, “ and some ruined or lost as a result of this crisis.”
- Donovan has also alleged that the Sacklers specifically directed sales reps to push higher-dose, long-acting products as safer with a lower risk of addiction. Training and procedural documents allegedly encourage sharing this potentially false information with doctors during clinic or facility visits.
- The Sacklers, of course, deny it all, saying they “strongly deny these allegations, which are inconsistent with the factual record, and will vigorously defend against them.” But we can expect nothing less from Big Pharma…
- In fact, the Sackler family even took their criminal behavior further, flatly stating that they are not “responsible for the opioid epidemic.” It must be nice to be able to cause so much harm — millions of deaths, really — and just be able to deny any responsibility for it in the process.
It’s too early to determine how this case will play out, but we do want to make something clear. Ending the opiate crisis should never mean taking medication away from patients who truly need it, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to just push the idea that they’re safe drugs, either.
Every patient is unique, and for companies to take advantage of patients who are at their most vulnerable is reprehensible.
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.