Wow it’s Wednesday already and we just a short hop away from Christmas and then not long from there… 2017 and all that will come with it. Where does the time go?!
Starting today’s roundup off with the latest on big pharma’s pushing of opiods for profits and Sanders’ response. In the comment I have several Standing Rock articles, as well as news on Obama’s Arctic drilling bans, Trump’s latest conflicts of interest and plenty more. Hope you can join us!
Drug-pushing, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies should be “investigated and prosecuted,” declared Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in response to revelations that out-of-state drug wholesalers have been pouring highly-addictive and lethal opioids into rural West Virginia towns, reaping profits while countless suffer.
Reporter Eric Eyre with the Charleston Gazette-Mail published a two-part investigative series this weekend exposing what looks like the Big Pharma behemoths profiting off the state’s overdose epidemic.
According to “previously confidential drug shipping sales records sent by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office,” and obtained by the Gazette-Mail, “drug wholesalers showered the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills” over a six-year period. At the same time, “1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers.”
“The unfettered shipments amount to 433 pain pills for every man, woman, and child in West Virginia,” Eyre notes.
Drawing attention to the “Big Three wholesalers,” McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, Eyre writes: “As the fatalities mounted—hydrocodone and oxycodone overdose deaths increased 67 percent in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012—the drug shippers’ CEOs collected salaries and bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars. Their companies made billions.”
During those years, the Big Three “earned a combined $17 billion in net income” while they “collectively shipped 423 million pain pills to West Virginia, according to DEA data analyzed by the Gazette-Mail.”
PS: Since I’m not sure this will work in the comments I’m going to tack it onto the end of this post:
Today marks the 146th day since Donald Trump last held a news conference. As the Electoral College backs Trump, we speak to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “Democracy depends on a free and independent press, which is why all tyrants try to squelch it,” Reich recently wrote. “They use seven techniques that, worryingly, President-elect Donald Trump already employs.” We speak to Reich, who discusses how Trump uses seven techniques to control the media.