Russia 1917...Germany 1935...America 2020

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Go get a life. You're attacking generations and religious beliefs. It's not allowed. Period. Don't get that, walk away. I'm done with your nonsense.
Thomas Jefferson thought otherwise. So did John Adams. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Paine.

YOU have 75 million millennials and 100 million Generation Z to answer to, now.

Me? I'm the least of your problems.

Good luck.
 
MackDaddy: You've made your point. Don't get yourself banned, dude.
Ask your friend @Hotshoe who MURDERED 400,000 Americans?!?

America’s opioid crisis wasn’t caused by the illegal drug trade crossing the Mexico/Texas border by the Mexican Cartel, the Columbian Medellin or the Sicilian Corleonesi. Rather, America’s opioid crisis began with a corporate business plan. Its roots can be traced to Red, White and Blue Americans in the boardrooms and marketing departments of pharmaceutical companies, distributers and pharmacies by highly distinguished Physicians, PhDs, MBAs and Lawyers―graduates from some of America’s most prestigious universities. They did the unimaginable … they “legalized” genocide.



A legalized genocide that murdered well over 400,000 Americans. Why, you might ask? They did it … because they could. They did it … for the M.O.N.E.Y. They did it … because they didn’t care.



Prescription opioids were originally created for cancer patients (usually, terminal) with severe pain and those cancer patients receiving chemo and/or radiation treatment. However, starting in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies began to promote the use of these highly addictive opioids to patients with non-cancer related pain (e.g., headaches, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, etc).



We Humanists will now unmask the face of Death …









Come and see …





Deaths of Despair!





· 70,000 Americans die annually from drug use, another 88,000 from alcohol abuse and 47,000 from suicide. More die from these three causes every two weeks than died in 18 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.



· One in seven Americans lives below the poverty line; suicide rates are at a 30-year high; opioids and other drugs kill more each month than guns and car crashes; every seven minutes someone dies from an overdose; one child in eight lives with a drug-abusing parent.



· Suicides among people ages 10-24 soared 56% from 2007 to 2017.





War on Drugs




Ø In 2017, of the record number 70,237 Americans who died from an overdose, 68% involved a prescription or illegal opioid. The number of overdose deaths has doubled in a decade, from 36,010 deaths in 2007.



Ø Since 1990, more Americans have died from opioid overdose deaths than American deaths in WWII (419,400)―MORE DEATHS THAN WORLD WAR II.



Ø Approximately 130 Americans die every day from drug overdose.



Ø Americans, today, have lifetime odds of dying from an opioid overdose (1 in 96) that are greater than dying from a car accident (1 in 103). The lifetime odds of dying from a gun assault are 1 in 285 and from an airplane crash 1 in 188,364.



Ø The death rate for opioids is now six times higher than it was in 1999.



Ø From 1997 to 2017, more than 200,000 people in the United States died from overdoses tied to all prescription opioids, according to federal data.



Ø Deaths linked to opioids had exploded 91% from 1999 to 2002.



Ø From 1996 to 2016, more than 7 million Americans have abused OxyContin.



Ø According to a study in JAMA Network Open, they found that counties that got more marketing [prescription opioids] the year before saw more painkiller prescriptions and more overdose deaths.



Ø The White House Council of Economic Advisors recently estimated the economic burden of drug overdose deaths, inclusive of the value of statistical lives lost, to be $504 billion in 2015.



Ø Drug over dose deaths in West Virginia and Ohio far out-pace the rest of the country.



Ø Deaths of despair are rising among Americans without a high school degree, accompanied by a measurable deterioration in economic and social wellbeing. According to Alan Krueger, “The increase in opioid prescriptions from 1999 to 2015 could account for about 43% of the observed decline in men’s labor force participation (LFP) during the same period.” He found that LFP fell in counties where more opioids were prescribed.



Ø In Washington State, sales from legal prescription opioids increased more than 500% between 1997 and 2011. In 2011, at its peak, more than 112 million daily doses of all Rx opioids were dispensed.



Ø West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has filed lawsuits against Rite-Aid and Walgreens alleging the two opioid distributors reaped billions of dollars in revenues, while their conduct caused immense harm to West Virginia and its citizens.

The lawsuits allege Rite-Aid and Walgreens, as individual distributors, supplied far more opioids to their retail pharmacies than necessary to meet a legitimate market, and not even that was enough as the retail pharmacies ordered additional pills from other distributors to fulfill demand. West Virginia has by far the highest death rate from prescription overdoses. Nationally, the drug crisis has resulted in more than 430,000 deaths since 2000.

Morrisey said Rite-Aid and Walgreens were among the state’s top 10 opioid distributors from 2006 to 2014. Rite-Aid distributed the equivalent of more than 87 million oxycodone pills and its retail pharmacies ordered another 127.5 million pills from other distributors to fulfill demand, the lawsuit said. That’s about 119 pills for every resident in the state of 1.8 million people.

Walgreens distributed the equivalent of 29.6 million pills in West Virginia and its pharmacies bought another 17.6 million, the lawsuit said.



Ø Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter (R), said the “Big Three” distributers (McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Corp.) supplied more than 34 billion doses of opioids to Oklahoma and the rest of the U.S. between 2006 and 2012 and did not stop or report suspicious drug orders because they were making so much money. In that same time period, there were over 1.4 billion opioids distributed in Oklahoma alone, which has a population of only 3.9 million. Current Oklahoma lawsuits state that the aforementioned companies funneled more opioids into communities throughout Oklahoma than could possibly have been expected to serve a legitimate medical need while ignoring red flags and suspicious orders.



Ø Through years of lawsuits and rising public anger over the opioid epidemic, the big American pharmacy retailers have largely eluded scrutiny. But a new court filing Wednesday morning asserts that pharmacies including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Giant Eagle as well as those operated by Walmart were as complicit in perpetuating the crisis as the manufacturers and distributors of the addictive drugs. The retailers sold millions of pills in tiny communities, offered bonuses for high-volume pharmacists and even worked directly with drug manufacturers to promote opioids as safe and effective, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Cleveland by two Ohio counties.

Specifically, the complaint lays out evidence that:

· CVS worked with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, to offer promotional seminars on pain management to its pharmacists so they could reassure patients and doctors about the safety of the drug.



· In partnership with Endo Pharmaceuticals, CVS sent letters to patients encouraging them to maintain prescriptions of Opana, a potent opioid so prone to abuse that in 2017 the Food and Drug Administration ordered its extended-release formulation removed from the market.



· From 2006 through 2014, the Rite Aid in Painesville, Ohio, a town with a population of 19,524, sold over 4.2 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone. The national retailer offered bonuses to stores with the highest productivity.



· Walgreens’ contract with the drug distributor AmerisourceBergen specified that Walgreens be allowed to police its own orders, without oversight from the distributor. Similar conditions were struck by CVS with its distributor, Cardinal Health.



Ø “The actions of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma included sharing studies that they knew were misleading, claiming that this was an effective, long-term treatment that didn’t give rise to risks of addiction,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told reporters at a news conference last year. “Those claims were verifiably false and ignored expert warnings. And they even undermined studies suggesting that there were addictive effects.”



Ø “Teva [Pharmaceuticals of Israel] and Cephalon blatantly LIED about the usage, the efficacy, and the risks of their extremely dangerous and addictive drugs in order to make billions of dollars in profit,” said Virginia Attorney General Herring. “Families in Virginia and around the country have been devastated by the ongoing opioid epidemic, which has its roots in the boardrooms and marketing departments of companies like Teva [Pharmaceuticals of Israel] and Cephalon. This unredacted Complaint reveals how these opioid manufacturers had absolutely no problem with putting human lives at risk in order to make as much money as they could. I will not stop until pharmaceutical companies are held accountable and shoulder the financial burden for their role in creating and prolonging the opioid crisis.”




Ø Between 2015 and 2018, 18 million “legal” opioid prescriptions were written in Oklahoma, which – again – has a population of only 3.9 million.



Ø Rochester Drug Cooperative, New York pharmaceutical company flagged only 4 narcotics orders as suspicious from 2012 to 2016. During that time and into 2017, nearly 1.5 million orders were made in total―only 4 narcotic orders were flagged! Demand for oxycodone grew by 800% and demand for fentanyl grew by 2000%.





WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?







THE SUPPLY DRUG CHAIN …



LEAST RESPONSIBLE:

o Press Ganey

o HCAHPS

o Hospital Administrators

o World Health Organization (WHO)

o Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

o Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

MODERATELY RESPONSIBLE:

o Shareholder democracy

o Physicians and Dentists

o Federal Drug Administration (FDA)

o Joint Commission

o Veterans Health Administration

MOST RESPONSIBLE:

o The Pain Coalition

o American Pain Society (APS)

o Center for Practical Bioethics (CPB)

o Retailers: CVS, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, HBC and Discount Drug Mart

o Drug Distributors: McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp., Walgreens (all among the richest companies in America)

o Alpharma (maker of Kadian)

o Endo International and its subsidiaries Endo Pharmaceuticals (maker of Opana) and Par Pharmaceutical

o Teva Pharmaceuticals of Israel and its subsidiaries Cephalon Pharmaceuticals (makers of Actiq)and Actavis Pharma

o Allergan Pharmaceuticals

o Rochester Drug Cooperative (New York based and is the nation’s 6th largest drug distributor)

o Abbott Laboratories (partnership with Purdue Pharma to market OxyContin)

o Johnson & Johnson (maker of opioids Duragesic, Nucynta and supplier of raw ingredients for opioids to other companies, most notably, Purdue Pharma) and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals

o Amneal Pharmaceuticals

o Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (largest generic opioid manufacturer) and its subsidiary SpecGX

o Insys Therapeutics Pharmaceutical Company (maker of opioid Subsys)

o Purdue Pharma (maker of opioid OxyContin) and its international subsidiary Mundipharma



Presently, the US Senate Finance Committee is demanding that the following pain societies and advocacy groups disclose any and all payments received from opioid manufacturers:

o American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)

o American Chronic Pain Association

o The American Society for Pain Management Nursing

o The American Society of Pain Educators

o The Federation of State Medical Boards

o The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

o The Alliance for Patient Access

o The International Association for the Study of Pain

o Joint Commission

o American Pain Society















Come and see …



· The FIRST wave begins in December, 1995, when the FDA “rapidly” approved Purdue Pharma’s new drug for pain management in non-cancer related patients called Oxycontin. Dr. Curtis Wright, who led the 1995 FDA approval, then took a senior position in Purdue Pharma working in product development in 1998. This coincided with the American Pain Society’s (APS) campaign promoting “pain as the 5th vital sign.” David Haddox, who headed an APS committee that endorsed the increased use of opiates, later joined Purdue Pharma in 1999, as well. Soon thereafter, the Veterans Health Administration adopted that campaign as part of their national pain management strategy.



· In 1998, Senator Orinn Hatch (R), Utah, along with Dr Phillipp M. Lippe and Dr. Michael Ashburn established The Pain Coalition, eventually becoming Law H.R. 3244.



· In 2000, President Clinton (D) signed into Law H.R. 3244 “The Decade of Pain Control and Research” effectively green-lighting the (ahem) “legal” opioid crisis, passed with a Republican House and Republican Senate.



· In 2001, the Joint Commission issued a pain scale, framing pain management as a patient’s rights issue and stressed the (ahem) safety of opioids. In a Joint Commission guide, sponsored by Purdue Pharma on pain management, it stated. “Some clinicians have inaccurate and exaggerated concerns about addiction, tolerance and risk of death. This attitude prevails despite the fact there is no evidence that addiction is a significant issue when persons are given opioids for pain control.”



· In 2002, the Bush Administration (R) launched the Hospital Quality Initiative (HQI), intended to improve quality of care through accountability and public disclosure. CMS then partnered with AHRQ, both agencies part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, to develop a survey for patients about hospital satisfaction to improve quality―enter Press Ganey and HCAHPS, the patient satisfaction survey used to determine hospital reimbursement rates which lead to overprescribing of opioids.



§ Aggressive marketing ensued in force―also known as, malevolent authority―pushing doctors to prescribe more “addictive” painkillers for non-cancer patients.



§ Hospital Administrators felt pressured to achieve scores of “excellent” on patient surveys, Press Ganey and HCAHPS, because CMS was now attaching significant reimbursement to patient satisfaction. Hospital physicians felt increased pressure to concentrate more on “excellent” patient satisfaction rather than patient-centered outcome.





Abbott Laboratories



§ Went to hook in doctors and make OxyContin a billion-dollar blockbuster. The sales force bought takeout dinners for doctors and met them at bookstores to pay for their purchases. In memos, the sales team referred to the marketing of the drug as a “crusade,” and their boss called himself the “King of Pain.”

§ Abbott Laboratories sales reps were instructed to downplay the threat of addiction with OxyContin and make other claims to doctors that had no scientific basis.

§ The sales reps from Abbott Laboratories and Purdue Pharma closely coordinated their efforts, met regularly to strategize, and shared marketing materials.

§ Abbott Laboratories heavily incentivized its sales staff to push OxyContin, offering $20,000 cash prizes and luxury vacations to top performers.

§ Their almost religious zeal to sell the drug is evident in the wide use of terminology from the Middle Ages Crusades: Sales reps were called “royal crusaders” and “knights” in internal documents, and they were supervised by the “Royal Court of OxyContin”—executives referred to in memos as the “Wizard of OxyContin,” “Supreme Sovereign of Pain Management,” and the “Empress of Analgesia.”

§ The head of pain care sales, Jerry Eichhorn, was the “King of Pain” and signed memos simply as “King.” “As you continue to carry the OxyContin banner onto the field of battle, it’s important to keep highlighting OxyContin benefits to your doctors,” Abbott Laboratories urged its sales staff in a memo contained in the court records.









Insys





§ Had a “kickback scheme”, bribed doctors (e.g., fees for fake educational talks), a rap video and even hired a stripper as a sales executive to give physicians lap dances to entice them to write more prescriptions for their opioid Subsys – a highly addictive fentanyl spray.





Teva Pharmaceuticals of Israel



§ “Teva Pharmaceuticals of Israel and Cephalon blatantly LIED about the usage, the efficacy, and the risks of their extremely dangerous and addictive drugs in order to make billions of dollars in profit,” said Virginia Attorney General Herring. “Families in Virginia and around the country have been devastated by the ongoing opioid epidemic, which has its roots in the boardrooms and marketing departments of companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals of Israel and Cephalon. This unredacted Complaint reveals how these opioid manufacturers had absolutely no problem with putting human lives at risk in order to make as much money as they could. I will not stop until pharmaceutical companies are held accountable and shoulder the financial burden for their role in creating and prolonging the opioid crisis.”







Fentora, buccal tablet by cephalon



Purdue Pharma



§ Purdue Pharma aggressively coerced sales reps to persuade physicians to write larger doses. They (ahem) educated Tennessee sales reps that raising dosage strength was the key to a big payday in a memo titled:

“$$$$$$$$$$$$$Its Bonus Time in the Neighborhood!”

§ Richard Sackler, CEO of Purdue Pharma personally shadowed sales reps “to make sure his orders were followed.” According to Purdue Pharma’s 83-page launch plan for OxyContin, dated September 27, 1995, it describes the 351 sales force as “our most valuable resource.” It details how Purdue Pharma had sweeping plans to reach hospitals, doctors, nurses, patients, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacists: Upon OxyContin’s approval, Purdue Pharma intended to send a fax “to every retail pharmacy in the United States” that would “list the reasons why pharmacies will profit by stocking this new product.”

§ Richard Sackler noted in an Email on October 23, 1996, that “Physicians who attended the dinner programs or the weekend meetings wrote more than double the number of new Rxs for OxyContin compared to the control group.”

§ Dr Paul Goldenheim, Purdue Pharma’s medical director Emailed sales and marketing executive Michael Friedman on January 16, 1997 informing him that “We are swamped,” and proposes adding another physician to the OxyContin effort, including “the massive non-cancer pain program. We have a tiger by the tail, and I wonder if we should add more muscle. Let’s discuss over live sushi!”

§ In a Purdue Pharma memo dated January 25, 1999, sales reps were told that “Your priority is to Sell, Sell, Sell OxyContin.” On March 13, 2000, Purdue Pharma sent its sales force 50 copies of the APS pain treatment guidelines to use in promoting OxyContin to physicians. Richard Sackler wanted to invite APS because of their “good relationship.” The memo said, “The guidelines can be an effective tool for selling our products.”

§ Purdue Pharma had 78 sales reps assigned to Kentucky alone who promoted OxyContin.

§ According to one 2009 case, government officials learned from a Purdue Pharma sales manager that he had written to a company official indicating that Purdue Pharma was promoting opioids to an illegal pill mill. He wrote, “I feel very certain this is an ‘organized drug ring’.” He added, “Shouldn’t the DEA be contacted about this?”

§ In 2012, Purdue Pharma threatened to fire all sales reps in the Boston area due to decreasing prescriptions written.

§ According to a filing by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Richard Sackler pushed to market OxyContin as a “non-narcotic” in other countries although it’s an opioid.

§ In 2019, two members of Congress accused Purdue Pharma of corruptly influencing the World Health Organization (WHO) into encouraging the use of opioids.





· The “Blue Highway”―as it was dubbed―is the route from Florida to Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio—so named after the 30 mg oxycodone “blue tablet” made by Mallinckrodt. Between 2008 and 2012, Mallinckrodt manufactured and shipped over 500 million of these “blue tablet” oxycodone opioids to Florida.



· The “Oxy Express”―as it was dubbed―is the nonstop flight from Florida to Ohio, and other Appalachian states.



· In 2005 and 2006, the DEA sent letters to drug distributors, warning them that they were required to report suspicious orders of painkillers and halt sales until the red flags could be resolved. The letter also went to drug manufacturers. DEA officials said the companies paid little attention to the warnings and kept shipping millions of pills in the face of suspicious circumstances.



· “Holding pharmacy chains accountable for not meeting the law in implementing measures to actively prevent diversion and abuse of prescription opioids. Pharmacies saw the devastating consequences of this public health crisis firsthand and we will show they did little to nothing to address them.” Lawyers for the State of Ohio said, regarding pending lawsuits in Ohio.



Come and see …





The SECOND wave began in 2010 when authorities became aware of the worsening situation and physicians became stricter when it came to prescribing opioids, thereby cutting off the supply of opioids for addicted Americans. Addicts then started using “street” heroin, instead. Between 2002 and 2013, heroin-related overdoses increased by 286%.





Come and see …



The THIRD wave began in 2013 when synthetic opioids―fentanyl―hit the streets. Two milligrams of fentanyl, an incredibly small amount, can be fatal for most people. It is also significantly cheaper to manufacture than heroin, and heroin is often laced with fentanyl as a result.





Come and see …



How did Plutocracy Democracy (ahem) solve the opioid crisis they created? Well …

For starters, they legally “handcuffed” the DEA, thereby prohibiting the DEA from holding pharmaceutical companies accountable. Yes. You read that correctly. In April, 2016, President Obama (D) signed into law the deplorable Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act.

“The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the DEA’s division responsible for regulating the drug industry and led a decade-long campaign of aggressive enforcement until he was forced out of the agency in 2015. “I mean, to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have.”

“This is an industry that’s out of control. If they don’t follow the law in drug supply, and diversion occurs, people die. That’s just it, people die,” Joseph T. Rannazzisi said. “And what they’re saying is, ‘The heck with your compliance. We’ll just get the law changed.’”



#AMERICANLIVESMATTER



“You can go to prison for accidentally killing ‘one’ person with your car. That’s the minimum standard. The idea that you can run a company and cause societal-level devastation and walk away from that relatively unscathed is mind-boggling.”

―Rick Caypool, research director at Public Citizen told Vox



“If [Purdue’s owners] have the perception―and it’s the correct perception―that ‘people like us [Purdue Pharma executives] just don’t go to jail, we just don’t, so the worst that’s going to happen is you take some reputational stings and you’ll have to write a check,’ that seems like a recipe for nurturing criminality.”

―Keith Humphreys, drug policy expert at Stanford University





“We have to hammer on the ‘abusers’ in every way possible. ‘They’ are the culprits and the problem. ‘They’ are the reckless criminals.”

―Richard Sackler, CEO Purdue Pharma, a.k.a. “the Angel of Death”, The MEMO









“We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal.’ It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal. If I lived in a Communist country today where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I believe I would openly advocate disobeying these anti-religious laws …”

—Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham jail
 

83wuzme

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Apr 27, 2005
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So Wuz: Would it be out of bounds if I were to pray for Biden's election in November, cuz I think I do that subconsciously every time Fat Impeached Nixon comes out with another moronic statement (like his Tweet re delaying the election). Is that a sin? Mortal or venial? How many Hail Mary's would be the normal penance for such a sin? I could really use your religious counsel on this subject
I would say politics are downstream of culture and American culture has probably never been more self centered than it is now.
 
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