Misjustice benefits pharma

Endpoint News reported “Three major drug distributors are off the hook for what may have been a $2.5 billion payment after a federal judge found them not liable for the opioid epidemic in parts of West Virginia, one of the hardest-hit areas of the country. This is beyond outrageous it’s a classic example of abuse of power.

Despite distributing more than 51.3 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone to pharmacies in Cabell County and the city of Huntington over less than a decade, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health didn’t cause an oversupply of opioids in the area, Judge David Faber ruled on Monday.

Let’s be clear: These distributors knew that they were distributing millions of doses of the product to a low-populated area. They didn’t care because, to them, it was just good business with a lot of money. While they were not alone in their criminal activity they surely have to bear some responsibility.

“Doctors, 99% of whom were acting in good faith, determined the total volume of prescription opioids that pharmacies ordered from defendants and dispensed pursuant to those prescriptions,” Faber wrote in his opinion. Really? Good faith when pain management “stores” were all over the area prescribing the drug for a few dollars? No. These were doctors whose only goal was to make money.

Once again money rules. The health sector led the federal and state lobbying spending in 2021, continuing a trend from 2019 and 2020. Other top sectors spending on federal lobbying generally continued to represent the same groups in 2020 as they did in 2019, demonstrating the continuity in lobbying interests from year to year and from one congressional session to the next.

There is more blame to go around as well.

Much has been disclosed over the years about McKinsey’s relationship with Purdue Pharma, including the consulting firm’s recommendation that the drug maker “turbocharge” its sales of OxyContin. But The Times found that the firm played a far deeper and broader role in advising clients involved in the opioid crisis than was publicly disclosed.

The McKinsey records include more than 15 years of emails, slide presentations, spreadsheets, proposals and other documents. They provide a sweeping and detailed depiction of a firm that became a trusted adviser to companies at the core of an epidemic that has claimed half a million American lives.

New York Times

The Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, who helped craft the settlement, said in a statement that “as Americans were dying from the opioid epidemic, McKinsey was trading on its reputation and connections to make the crisis worse.” She added that the newly released documents “expose McKinsey’s role in the opioid crisis and will inform policymakers’ efforts to prevent this from happening again.”

This is an outrage at a time when the courts and politicians are becoming more brazen in their outrages. If this news doesn’t raise your blood pressure than you don’t belong in this industry.