Tag: Drugs

Not Enough

No jail time in a settlement with McKinsey and Company for actively aiding Perdue Pharma in maximizing addictions to its opioids.

If there is a case for a corporate death penalty, this is it.

What’s more there should be criminal prosecutions against its executives:

Consulting giant McKinsey & Co. has reached a $573 million settlement with states over its work advising OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and other drug manufacturers to aggressively market opioid painkillers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal, reached with 47 states and the District of Columbia and expected to be publicly announced Thursday, would avert civil lawsuits that attorneys general could bring against McKinsey, the people said. The majority of the money will be paid upfront, with the rest dispensed in four yearly payments starting in 2022.

McKinsey said last week it is cooperating with government agencies on matters related to its past work with opioid manufacturers, as state and local governments sue companies up and down the opioid supply chain. At least 400,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses of legal and illegal opioids since 1999, according to federal data.

The consulting firm stopped doing opioid-related work in 2019 and said in December its work for Purdue was intended to support the legal use of opioids and help patients with legitimate medical needs.

That statement from McKinsey is a lie.  They literally suggested that druggists be paid a bonus for overdose deaths to, “Turbocharge sales.” 

Shut them down.

Dope Dealing Through Negligence

That is why Department of Justice is suing Walmart over handing out opioids like Tic-Tacs.

Basically, the government is alleging that the pharmacists at the retail giant were so overworked that they were unable to perform due diligence of dodgy prescriptions.

I would love to see this level of scrutiny applied to Amazon:  

The Trump administration sued Walmart Inc. Tuesday, accusing the retail giant of helping to fuel the nation’s opioid crisis by inadequately screening for questionable prescriptions despite repeated warnings from its own pharmacists.

The Justice Department’s lawsuit claims Walmart sought to boost profits by understaffing its pharmacies and pressuring employees to fill prescriptions quickly. That made it difficult for pharmacists to reject invalid prescriptions, enabling widespread drug abuse nationwide, the suit alleges.


The country’s largest retailer by revenue, Walmart has been expecting this complaint and sued the federal government in October to fight the allegations pre-emptively. That suit accuses the Justice Department and DEA of attempting to scapegoat the company for what it says are the federal government’s own regulatory and enforcement shortcomings.

The Justice Department’s lawsuit alleges Walmart created a system that turned its network of 5,000 in-store U.S. pharmacies into a leading supplier of highly addictive painkillers. The allegations date to June 2013, according to the suit.

“Many of these prescription drugs would never have hit the streets if Walmart pharmacies had complied with their obligations,” said Maria Chapa Lopez, a U.S. attorney in Tampa, Fla., who is one of several prosecutors involved in the suit.

Walmart started with cut-rate prices on opioids that initially drove shoppers to its stores, the government alleges. Middle managers—under direction from executives at company headquarters—pressured pharmacists to work faster, the suit says, believing quick-fill prescriptions drew customers to stay and keep shopping.

Many of the alleged problems centered in Walmart’s compliance unit, which oversaw dispensing nationwide from the company’s main office in Bentonville, Ark., the suit says. Walmart allegedly ignored repeated warnings that the company had understaffed its pharmacies as pressure to sell quickly caused mistakes and put patients’ health at risk, according to the complaint.

Pharmacists allegedly got little help from compliance managers who for years didn’t share information between stores, and in many cases refused requests to give blanket rejections to suspect prescribers even after rival retailers had done so, the suit says.

“Rather than analyzing the refusal-to-fill reports, the compliance unit viewed ‘[d]riving sales and patient awareness’ as ‘a far better use of our Market Directors and Market Manager’s time,’” the Justice Department said, quoting a company compliance director. “Given the nationwide scale of those violations, Walmart’s failures to follow basic legal rules helped fuel a national crisis.”

Walmart’s defense appears to be, “I don’t want to deal drugs, but it would cost too much money to do the job right.”

My old axiom applies, “If they treat their employees like sh%$, how do you think that they will treat you as a customer?”

Mexico Takes a Step Forward on the War on Drugs

In a move for their own sovereignty, Mexico has removed diplomatic immunity from foreign law enforcement (US DEA) agents, and added statutory requirements that any foreign law enforcement share collected intelligence with local authorities.

I see this as an unalloyed good.

It will make the destructive pursuit of the “War on Drugs” more difficult, and will force US law enforcement to consider the impacts of their actions on the locals:

Mexico’s congress has approved a new national security law restricting the activities of foreign law enforcement officers, in a move which critics say will endanger intelligence sources and threaten the future of international anti-narcotics operations.

The law passed on Tuesday strips foreign agents of diplomatic immunity and requires foreign officials in the country to share any intelligence they have obtained with Mexican officials.

While not ostensibly targeting officials from any specific country, the new law would probably impact US agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which maintains a robust presence in Mexico.


The DEA works closely with Mexican security officials and creates much of the intelligence used in the so-called war on drugs. But US operations have sometimes caused a nationalist backlash, and despite billions of dollars in US military aid and attempts at judicial reform, Mexico’s militarised crackdown on crime has claimed more than 200,000 lives and left about 70,000 missing.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the president, suddenly sent the bill to congress in early December after complaining of the way the DEA acts in Mexico.

“During other governments, they came into Mexico as if they owned the place. They didn’t just carry out intelligence operations, they went after targets. [Mexican] security forces launched the operations, but the decisions were made by these [foreign] agencies. That no longer happens,” he said.


Ricardo Monreal, senate whip with López Obrador’s ruling Morena party, called the law “an effort to reinforce the principle of reciprocity in matters of national security”.

I’d like to think that this will lead to a more constructive, and less punitive, drug policy in the US, but as Upton Sinclair pithily noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it,” and the elements of the US state security apparatus whose salaries are dependent on the “War on Drugs” are unlikely to understand.

I expect a lot of chest thumping and coercion coming from this side of the border.

Our Own Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation*

I am referring of course, to the “White Shoe” consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, which has increasingly made justifying the illegal and immoral, and whose latest bit of evil was a proposal for Perdue Pharma to pay distributors a bounty for overdose deaths, because, like any good dope dealer, it’s all about the Benjamins.

The short version is that in order to convince distributors not to share their concerns about how Oxycontin was resulting in an explosion of deaths with regulators, or ending their relationship with Perdue, McKinsey & Company proposed a $14,810.00 payment for death or hospitalization.

It’s blood money, and it is a criminal conspiracy to bribe those distributors not to take actions that would harm the bottom line.

Even if the Sacklers and their Evil Minions never took up this suggestion, it is a felony to even discuss this, and McKinsey is guilty.

They really need to get the Arthur Anderson treatment.

Their name, and memory, should be effaced:

When Purdue Pharma agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving OxyContin, the Justice Department noted the role an unidentified consulting company had played in driving sales of the addictive painkiller even as public outrage grew over widespread overdoses.

Documents released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York show that the adviser was McKinsey & Company, the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. The 160 pages include emails and slides revealing new details about McKinsey’s advice to the Sackler family, Purdue’s billionaire owners, and the firm’s now notorious plan to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales at a time when opioid abuse had already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

In a 2017 presentation, according to the records, which were filed in court on behalf of multiple state attorneys general, McKinsey laid out several options to shore up sales. One was to give Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold.

The presentation estimated how many customers of companies including CVS and Anthem might overdose. It projected that in 2019, for example, 2,484 CVS customers would either have an overdose or develop an opioid use disorder. A rebate of $14,810 per “event” meant that Purdue would pay CVS $36.8 million that year.


Though McKinsey has not been charged by the federal government or sued, it began to worry about legal repercussions in 2018, according to the documents. After Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Purdue, Martin Elling, a leader for McKinsey’s North American pharmaceutical practice, wrote to another senior partner, Arnab Ghatak: “It probably makes sense to have a quick conversation with the risk committee to see if we should be doing anything” other than “eliminating all our documents and emails. Suspect not but as things get tougher there someone might turn to us.”

Why the F%$# haven’t they been charged? 

They not only engaged in a criminal conspiracy which would include bribery and other racketeering, they initiated the proposal to do so.

Mr. Ghatak, who also advised Purdue, replied: “Thanks for the heads up. Will do.”

It is not known whether consultants at the firm went on to destroy any records.

The two men were among the highest-ranking consultants at McKinsey. Five years earlier, the documents show, they emailed colleagues about a meeting in which McKinsey persuaded the Sacklers to aggressively market OxyContin.

The meeting “went very well — the room was filled with only family, including the elder statesman Dr. Raymond,” wrote Mr. Ghatak, referring to Purdue’s co-founder, the physician Raymond Sackler, who would die in 2017.

Mr. Elling concurred. “By the end of the meeting,” he wrote, “the findings were crystal clear to everyone and they gave a ringing endorsement of moving forward fast.”


McKinsey’s involvement in the opioid crisis came to light early last year, with the release of documents from Massachusetts, which is among the states suing Purdue. Those records show that McKinsey was helping Purdue find a way “to counter the emotional messages from mothers with teenagers that overdosed” from OxyContin.


“This is the banality of evil, M.B.A. edition,” Anand Giridharadas, a former McKinsey consultant who reviewed the documents, said of the firm’s work with Purdue. “They knew what was going on. And they found a way to look past it, through it, around it, so as to answer the only questions they cared about: how to make the client money and, when the walls closed in, how to protect themselves.”


McKinsey put together briefing materials that anticipated questions Purdue would receive. [At an FDA oversight hearing] One possible question: “Who at Purdue takes personal responsibility for these deaths?”

The proposed answer: “We all feel responsible.

Shut them down, and shame and jail anyone associated with McKinsey and Company.

They are ineluctably evil.

*Immortalized by Douglas Adams as, “A bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

They Are Guilty, Give Them the Death Penalty

I am referring, of course, to Purdue Pharma, who just pled guilty to pushing drugs on millions of Americans, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

They are guilty of felony murder, and should be subject to the death penalty.

I’m opposed to the death penalty for human beings, but for corporations, I’m cool with that.

Fines are not enough, and the Sackler clan needs to be reduced to penury:

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges that it misled the federal government about sales of its blockbuster painkiller OxyContin, the prescription opioid that helped fuel a national addiction crisis. The admission brought a formal end to an extensive federal investigation that led to a multibillion-dollar settlement between the company and the Justice Department.

“The abuse and diversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and deaths,” Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general, said in a statement. “Today’s convictions underscore the department’s commitment to its multipronged strategy for defeating the opioid crisis.”

Purdue’s chairman, Steve Miller, acknowledged in a remotely conducted hearing in federal court in New Jersey that in order to meet sales goals, the company told the Drug Enforcement Administration that it had created a program to prevent OxyContin from being sold on the black market, even though it was marketing the drug to more than 100 doctors suspected of illegally prescribing OxyContin.

Purdue also pleaded guilty to paying illegal kickbacks to doctors who prescribed OxyContin and to an electronic health records company, Practice Fusion, for targeting physicians with alerts that were intended to increase opioid prescriptions. Practice Fusion has paid $145 million in fines for taking those kickbacks.

Doctors overprescribing OxyContin, along with illicit distribution of the drug, have contributed to the deaths of more than 450,000 Americans since 1999.

The premeditation for capital murder is in the underlying felony.

The company should be wiped from the earth, and the ill-gotten gains of the Sacklers should be clawed back from them.

No quarter.

Holy Dueling Narratives, Batman

Last week, I wrote about how the CEO of Pfizer may have timed their vaccine announcement to maximize his profit at prescheduled stock sales.

Today I discover that it wasn’t just Pfizer, it was Moderna and Novavax as well:

Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax: executives at several American laboratories developing COVID-19 vaccines have recently pocketed millions of dollars by selling shares in their companies—raising questions about the propriety of such a move in the midst of a national health crisis.

On the very day that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced preliminary data showing its vaccine was 90 percent effective against the coronavirus, its chief executive Albert Bourla sold shares worth $5.6 million.

There was nothing illegal about this, Pfizer said: the sale took place according to rules allowing company heads to sell shares under predetermined criteria, at a date or for a price set in advance, to avoid any suspicion of insider training.

Under the same rules, several Moderna officials have sold shares worth more than $100 million in recent months.

That company has not placed a single product on the market since its creation in 2010, but the federal government has committed to paying it up to $2.5 billion if its vaccine proves effective.


Accountable US, a nonpartisan taxpayers’ advocacy group, has calculated that from the start of the federally coordinated effort to develop vaccines on May 15 until August 31, officials at five made more than $145 million by selling shares.

Meanwhile, over at Moon of Alabama, we have an account of how Anthony Fauci, big Pharma, and the FDA conspired to f%$# Donald Trump’s reelection chances

Personally, I’m on the side of greedy pharma execs, because of Occam’s Razor, but I am a cynic:


During the summer Trump had been hopeful that a vaccine against the Covid-19 disease could be announced before the election. It would have been proof that his strategy to (not) fight the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had at least one success. The announcement of a vaccine was part of President Trump’s planned ‘October surprises’ to win the election.

Trump’s summer hope that a vaccine success could be announced during October was not unreasonable. Two important vaccines candidate, one from Pfizer with BioNTech and one from Moderna, had been successful tested in their first phases and were ready launch their large phase 3 trials.

In a phase 3 vaccine trial several ten thousand people are put into two groups. The people in one group receive the vaccine, the people in the other one a placebo. One then has to wait and see how many people will get the disease. At certain points a statistical team will look at those cases and check how many occurred in each group. The differences of the number of people in each group who catch the disease is a scale for the vaccines efficacy. For a known group size one can estimate in advance after how many disease cases determinations should be made to show statistical significance.


The time plan, on which Trump was certainly briefed, foresaw that the first interim analysis would likely occur in late September or early October.

However Pfizer did not publish any results when the first two interim analysis points were met. On November 9, after the election, Pfizer announced very positive results at the third interim analysis point:

As an aside, I read Moon of Alabama regularly, they regularly have top drawer commentary, particularly on the Middle East, and while they are sometimes contrarian for its own sake, Michael Kinsley disease, and it sometimes tends to be just a bit conspiratorial, they are well worth the read.

Now is Not the Time to Apologize

With Trump’s hydroxychloroquine insanity, where he is claiming to take the drug, and doctor is almost certainly giving him sugar pills, Nancy Pelosi let loose the following take-down:

He’s our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: ‘Morbidly obese,’ they say.

Nancy Pelosi just said to Republicans, “Yo President so fat ………,” and the SJWs on the net are complaining that she is, “Fat shaming,” Trump.

Bullsh%$.  She is TROLLING Trump, and this is well calculated to make his orange head explode.

Nancy Pelosi should not apologize, and if someone confronts her about this, she should tell them to kiss her ass, and if they complain about THAT she should reply, “I’m a Democrat, I’m not going to tell you to kiss my elephant.”  (Credit Frank Mankiewicz for that last bit.)

Trump is overweight, and the overweight are at higher risks of complications from the malaria drug.  That is an objective fact.

If you have a problem with that, get the f%$# off of the internet, and out of the gene pool.


David Sirota asks, “Will Big Pharma Fleece Us On A COVID Treatment That We Helped Fund?

This has been another episode of simple answers to simple questions.

On a more serious notes, extreme rent seeking is arguably the central tenet of the US economy these days.

If Remdesivir proves to be a good treatment for Covid-19, it will be sold for tens, if not hundreds, of times the cost of manufacture, and most of the development of the drug was paid for by the taxpayers.

Finally, a Conviction

He was convicted of racketeering.

I think that the  Billy Ray Valentine principle, “You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people,” should apply.

He’s been convicted, so there is a crime.

Now seize is assets, which are ineluctably intertwined with his fortune, so take it all.

Make him poor:

John Kapoor, the former billionaire and founder of fentanyl-spray manufacturer Insys Therapeutics was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison Thursday afternoon in a Boston courtroom for his role in a conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe his company’s potent fentanyl painkiller to patients who didn’t need it.


Last May after a weeks-long trial, a jury found Kapoor and four other executives guilty of a racketeering conspiracy. At the time, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said that those convictions were “the first successful prosecution of top pharmaceutical executives for crimes related to the illicit marketing and prescribing of opioids.” The jury found that between 2012 and 2015 Kapoor and the other executives had conspired to bribe doctors and other medical practitioners to prescribe Insys’ pain drug unnecessarily and to also lie to health insurers to have the medication covered. But in November the federal judge on the case overturned part of the jury’s verdict.


The Chandler, Arizona-based Insys made and sold a powerful fentanyl spray called Subsys that was Food & Drug Administration-approved only for use by patients with cancer-related pain. At its peak in 2015, the firm’s annual Subsys sales hit $329 million. Last June Insys reached a $225 million settlement with the Department of Justice and admitted to having illegally marketed and paid kickbacks to medical practitioners in exchange for prescribing Subsys. Days later the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In October 2016 Kapoor was profiled by Forbes. The story chronicled Kapoor’s habit of founding companies and letting them push ethical and legal boundaries. During an interview for the story, Kapoor told Forbes of his involvement with Insys: “My involvement is I am an investor.” He said, “As an investor I’m on a board. As a board member and an investor you are involved, but you are not involved in day-to-day operations, and that’s where the problems come in.”

This is the language of “Disruption”.  It’s also the language of a drug pusher.

There is a reason why they the same words, because there is very little difference.


The hashtag is trending on Twitter following Donald Trump’s speech on Iran.

Following reports by an ex-staffer on The Apprentice that routinely Trump snorted the stimulant Adderall and abused Sudafed.

Trump’s speech is reported (not gonna watch it, he makes my flesh crawl) to have slurred words, mispronounced words, and sniffed constantly, (58 times) and people noticed:

Why all the sniffing? Why the slurring?

I wonder why President Donald Trump sniffs so much when he’s giving super important public addresses.

What’s up with that snort?

I wonder why he appeared to be slurring his words today.

Anxiety? Dementia, or some other health disorder? Drugs? Lack of drugs?

There are rumors, but nothing confirmed.

Whatever it is?

It ain’t good.

This is guy has the authority to start World War III.

Pleasant dreams.

Not Enough Bullets

Literally the Least Tufts Could Do

The Sackler family, are having major butt-hurt because Tufts University is pulling their names from their buildings.

Let’s see, you created a dangerous product, aggressively and dishonestly marketed it across the nation, when caught you looted your company in advance of your bankruptcy, and your non-bankrupt foreign company is STILL trying to hook people on your poison.

Why wouldn’t an institution best known for its medical program want to have anything with you?

The Sackler family is pushing back after Tufts University removed the family name from its buildings and programs due to the family’s link to the ongoing opioid epidemic, according to a report in The New York Times.

In a letter to Tufts’ president, a lawyer for the family wrote that the removal was “contrary to basic notions of fairness” and “a breach of the many binding commitments made by the University dating back to 1980 in order to secure the family’s support, including millions of dollars in donations for facilities and critical medical research.”

Tufts made the decision to remove the family name after getting the results of an independent review of the university’s relationship with the Sacklers and OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, which the Sacklers own. Both the family and the company have been accused of helping to spark the crisis by aggressively marketing the powerful painkiller and misleading doctors, patients, and regulators about its addictiveness.


The review found that Purdue did intend to use the relationship to advance its interests. And, according to the report, in some cases, it was successful in influencing the academic institution. “Moreover, we conclude that there was an appearance of too close a relationship between Purdue, the Sacklers, and Tufts,” the report said.

The letter from the Sackler family lawyer hinted at the possibility of legal action.


Although, not all of the Sackler family is involved with OxyContin. Of the original three Sackler brothers involved in Purdue, one of them—Arthur—died before the painkiller was introduced, and his brothers bought out his stake in the company. Arthur’s widow, Jillian Sackler, released a statement saying in part, “It deeply saddens me to witness Arthur being blamed for actions taken by his brothers and other OxySacklers.”

OxySacklers.  Heh.

Deport them to China, Where They Can Have a Bullet Put in Their Skulls

In China, this merits the death penalty, and the Sacklers merit a ride on a Chinese Execution Van:

The mega-rich family behind the OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma is back to selling its highly addictive pain-killer with underhanded tactics and deceptive advertising—this time in China, via its international company, Mundipharma. That’s all according to a searing new investigation by the Associated Press.

The Sackler family, which owns both Purdue and Mundipharma, is embroiled in litigation in the United States over its alleged role in sparking the country’s epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses. Thousands of plaintiffs—many state and local governments—claim that Purdue and the Sacklers misled patients, doctors, and regulators on the addictiveness of their drugs, aggressively marketed them, and wooed doctors into over-prescribing them.

While Purdue has since declared bankruptcy and stopped promoting OxyContin in the US, the Sacklers seem to be employing the same practices in China.

Based on documents and interviews with multiple Mundipharma representatives in China, the AP investigation found that reps were at times posing as doctors, providing debunked information that its long-acting opioids are safe and less addictive, and even illegally copying private medical records of patients to inform sales tactics.

I should note that I am opposed to the death penalty, and I do not actually support their being sent to China and executed.

Instead, I favor the punishment extolled by Billy Ray Valentine, “The best way to hurt rich people is to turn them into poor people.”

Going Long on Fig Newton Futures

The House Judiciary Committee has passed a bill removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act,

This is the first time that any committee in Congress has ever passed a bill descheduling cannabis out of committee:

For the first time ever, a congressional committee has approved a piece of legislation to end marijuana prohibition in the United States. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act, better known as The MORE Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and impose a minor excise tax on the legal cannabis industry to pay for the expungement of criminal records, among other changes, passed with a bipartisan vote of 24 to 10.

“This is a truly historic moment in our nation’s political history. For the first time, a Congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notably on communities of color and other already marginalized groups,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “Opposition to our failed war on marijuana has reached a boiling point with over two-thirds of all Americans, including majorities of all political persuasions, now supporting legalization. Congress should respect the will of the people and promptly approve the MORE Act and close this dark chapter of failed public policy.”

“The passage of the MORE Act represents the first time that the Judiciary Committee has ever had a successful vote to end the cruel policy of marijuana criminalization,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Not only does the bill reverse the failed prohibition of cannabis, but it provides pathways for opportunity and ownership in the emerging industry for those who have suffered most. In 2018 alone, over 663,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes, a three-year high. Now that Chairman Nadler has moved the MORE Act through committee, it is time for the full House to vote and have every member of Congress show their constituents which side of history they stand on.”

I wonder if Joe Biden will be asked about his whole, “Marijuana is a gateway drug,” delusion.

I Cannot Find the Evil Here

Gilead Sciences has been sued by the US government for violating HHS patents with its HIV preventative drugs. (Truvada and Descovy)

Considering the fact that their drugs costs $1800.00/month in the US, and $8.00 in Australia, going after the price gougers at Gilead is an unalloyed good, but it’s the Trump administration, so I’m trying to figure out how they got here.

There has to be some sort of corruption or evil behind this.

A rift between the Centers for Disease Control and pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences ruptured further Wednesday when the Trump administration sued Gilead in U.S. District Court, asserting that Gilead made billions of dollars on HIV prevention therapy while repeatedly ignoring government patents.

The patent infringement case against a major drug company, coming at a time of increasing political anger over drug prices, signals a shift in a relationship that typically has been collaborative. The San Francisco-based company has worked for years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight HIV, including providing free drugs for government experiments, as well as efforts to expand treatment of hepatitis C.

But the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services this week describes how, beginning in 2015, Gilead repeatedly refused to recognize CDC patents for an HIV prevention called Truvada for PrEP.

“Gilead has repeatedly refused to obtain a license from CDC to use the patented regimens,’’ the government said in its lawsuit, filed by the Justice Department in federal court in Delaware. “Meanwhile, Gilead has profited from research funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Indeed, Gilead has reaped billions from PrEP . . . but has not paid any royalties to CDC.’’

If I were directing CDC of HHS policy, I would not be asking for royalties, I’d be demanding price controls as a condition for the license.

It would save a lot more money than any royalty scheme.

Not Enough Bullets

Purdue Pharma has declared bankruptcy, but they still want to pay $34 million in bonuses to senior managers, because it’s not drug pushing if you are white and went to Harvard.

I want the guillotine concession at this bankruptcy trial.

I’ll make out like a raped ape:

Officials at troubled drugmaker Purdue Pharma say “certain employees” should be paid more than $34 million in bonuses for meeting and exceeding goals over the last three years, even though the company is facing thousands of lawsuits over its role in the nation’s opioid crisis and earlier this week filed for bankruptcy.

In a legal filing, attorneys for Purdue Pharma asked a judge to authorize millions in payments to employees who have met “target performance goals.”

It is not clear from the company filings why employees would be eligible for bonuses because, while the bonuses are supposed to be partly contingent on the company’s financial performance, the company has filed for bankruptcy.

At a bankruptcy court hearing in White Plains, N.Y., on Tuesday, Paul K. Schwartzberg, an attorney for the U.S. Trustee, raised objections to some of the bonuses. While it is typical for companies in bankruptcy to try to pay employees as a firm seeks to regain its financial footing, the Purdue Pharma bonuses go “way beyond” what is typical, he said.

Enough is enough.

Not Enough Bullets

The deal that the Sacklers are pushing to expuge their obligations for actively promulgating the opioid crisis would result in them holding to on most of their ill gotten gains.

When the powers that be talk about bankruptcy reform, it seems to be directed at hurting the ½ million or so people who have medical catastrophes, and not about people like the Saklers, who will be allowed to walk away with the proceeds of their crime:

The Sackler family, which grew into one of the nation’s wealthiest dynasties through sales of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin, could emerge from a legal settlement under negotiation with its personal fortunes largely intact, according to an analysis reviewed by The Washington Post and people familiar with the discussions.

Under a novel plan to relinquish control of their company, Purdue Pharma, and resurrect it as a trust whose main purpose would be to combat the opioid epidemic, the Sacklers could raise most, if not all, of their personal share of the $10 billion to $12 billion agreement by selling their international drug conglomerate, Mundipharma, according to the documents and those close to the talks.

Yet the proposed settlement — built on the projected value of drugs not yet on the market — offers gains for both sides if the company and more than 2,000 cities, counties, states and others that have sued Purdue and the family can craft a deal.


But they would still retain much of their wealth. In fact, they might be able to keep billions of dollars that state attorneys general allege they pulled out of the company.

“No one is going to be happy after this,” said Adam J. Levitin, a Georgetown Law School professor who studies bankruptcy. “People are going to be mad that the Sacklers aren’t going to jail, that they will have money left.”

The Sacklers need to be impoverished, and those in management need to be jailed.

To quote Billie Ray Valentine, “It occurs to me that the best way to hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.”

They need to be humiliated in the public square as an example to others.

Another Migrant Caravan

No, not Central American’s fleeing violence and poverty, it’s Americans who are going to Canada to flee extortionate drug prices:

A “caravan” of Americans living with Type 1 diabetes made its way across the U.S. border into Canada over the weekend in search of affordable medical care in a country where they can get the “exact same” life-saving drugs for a dramatically lower price.

“We’re on a #CaravanToCanada because the USA charges astronomical prices for insulin that most people can’t afford,” tweeted caravan member Quinn Nystrom as she shared updates on the journey.

Nystrom was among a group of Minnesotans who piled into cars on Friday to make the 600-mile journey from the Twin Cities to Fort Frances, Ontario, where she said insulin, the hormone patients with Type 1 Diabetes rely on to regulate their blood glucose levels, can be bought for a tenth of what it costs in the U.S.

The caravan was organized as part of a campaign launched under the banner “#insulin4all” to call on the U.S. government to regulate the cost of life-saving drugs, including insulin, and make medication affordable for anyone who needs it.

Insulin has been public domain for nearly 100 years.

The fact that Pharma has still found a way to charge exorbitant rents, and that our government facilitates this, is an indication of a deep and systemic problem.