“For decades, America has waged an ineffective war on drug pushers and drug lords, from Bronx street corners to Medellin, Colombia, regarding them as among the most contemptible specimens of humanity.One reason our efforts have failed is we ignored the biggest drug pushers of all: American pharmaceutical companies.
Our policy was: You get 15 people hooked on opioids, and you’re a thug who deserves to rot in hell; you get 150,000 people hooked, and you’re a marketing genius who deserves a huge bonus.
Big Pharma should be writhing in embarrassment this week after The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” reported that pharmaceutical lobbyists had manipulated Congress to hamstring the Drug Enforcement Administration. But the abuse goes far beyond that: The industry systematically manipulated the entire country for 25 years, and its executives are responsible for many of the 64,000 deaths of Americans last year from drugs — more than the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam and Iraq wars combined.
The opioid crisis unfolded because greedy people — Latin drug lords and American pharma executives alike — lost their humanity when they saw the astounding profits that could be made.”
Yes, thank you. Here is the leading comment, I support:
Meredith New York 16 hours ago
Kristof is blunt and true, but leaves out campaign donors.
It’s not only ‘greed’. Like our huge gun death rate isn’t only about rage or ‘mental illness’. It’s the opportunities our society offers to act out greed & sociopathy. Our election funding system supporting this.
In our political system, there are no limits to ‘monetization’.
Big pharma, like big gun makers are some of our biggest election sponsors, as we see the thousands of deaths pile up. With phony slogans of ‘freedom, and private profits unhindered by big govt’, we legitimize the world’s most profitable, exploitive industries in health, guns and elections.
Other capitalist democracies don’t prescribe paint killers at the US rate, have health care and medicine at lower cost. They limit gun possession.
They don’t turn over their elections to the biggest corporate megadonors,
See NYT past op ed by Richard Painter, chief WH ethics lawyer “The N.R.A. Protection Racket”. The racket applies to drugs, h/c and every issue, If politicians don’t play ball, their donors threaten to run somebody against them in a primary who will. Candidates know the rules.
Al Gore on CNN Zakaria show “ Our democracy has been hacked by big money long before Putin hacked our democracy.”
Do US voters know that Europe bans the drug ads direct to consumers that swamp our media, and bans privately paid campaign ads and also guns for all?
We need columns with contrasting positive examples along with moral outrage.
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