Tag: Pharma

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.

Hopefully, This is the Start of a Trend

Senior executives at the pharmaceutical company Insys have been convicted of racketeering for their sales tactics, which included bribing doctors, defrauding insurance companies.

Holding senior executives liable for corporate misdeeds should be the rule, not the exception:

A federal jury on Thursday found the top executives of Insys Therapeutics, a company that sold a fentanyl-based painkiller, guilty of racketeering charges in a rare criminal prosecution that blamed corporate officials for contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The jury, after deliberating for 15 days, issued guilty verdicts against the company’s founder, the onetime billionaire John Kapoor, and four former executives, finding they had conspired to fuel sales of its highly potent drug, Subsys, by not only bribing doctors to prescribe their product but also by misleading insurers about patients’ need for the drug.

The verdict against Insys executives is a sign of the accelerating effort to hold pharmaceutical and drug distribution companies and their executives and owners accountable in ways commensurate with the devastation wrought by the prescription opioid crisis. More than 200,000 people have overdosed on such drugs in the past two decades.

Federal authorities last month for the first time filed felony drug trafficking charges against a major pharmaceutical distributor, Rochester Drug Cooperative, and two former executives, accusing them of shipping tens of millions of oxycodone pills and fentanyl products to pharmacies that were distributing drugs illegally.

And the state attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York have recently sued not just Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, but also members of the Sackler family who own the company — and who have largely escaped personal legal penalties for the company’s role in the epidemic, culpability they deny.

Also on Thursday, the state of West Virginia reached a $37 million settlement in a lawsuit against the McKesson Corporation, one of the nation’s leading drug distributors, which was accused of shipping nearly 100 million doses of opioids to residents over a six-year period.

Experts said the Insys verdict could encourage other corporate prosecutions and said it demonstrated that the public was willing to mete out penalties for high-level executives at companies profiting from the sales of highly addictive painkillers.

Your mouth to God’s ears.

Not Enough Bullets

After misrepresenting the risks and addictive properties of Oxycontin and launching a destructive hard sell campaign, Purdue Pharma is now looking to get FDA approval of a drug that will allow them to profit from the disaster that they created:

Notorious OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma—which has been widely criticized for deceptively marketing its highly addictive painkiller and for its role in spurring the current nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose deaths—is moving ahead with a new, potent drug, one said to be an antidote to opioid overdoses.

The company announced this week that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track status to its investigational drug nalmefene hydrochloride (HCl), an injectable, emergency treatment intended to rescue people suspected of having an opioid overdose. Purdue suggests that nalmefene HCl’s effects last longer than the similar emergency opioid antagonist naloxone. As such, the company hopes nalmefene HCl will out-compete naloxone at reversing overdoses from the most highly potent opioid, namely fentanyl, which is currently driving the alarming numbers of opioid overdose deaths. The FDA’s fast-track status will speed the development and regulatory review of the drug.


Amid the crisis, Purdue has been fiercely condemned for initially downplaying the addictiveness of OxyContin, which it began aggressively marketing in the mid-1990s, earning the company billions of dollars in sales. In 2007, the company and three executives pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges that they deceived doctors, patients, and regulators over the addictiveness of the drug. Since then, Purdue has been pummeled by lawsuits blaming the company for helping to spur the rise in opioid abuse and overdoses. The company has vigorously defended itself against the claims but is now considering filing for bankruptcy, which would soften the blow of litigation and judgments.


Still, according to internal discussions at Purdue that were made public in a lawsuit brought by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Purdue and members of the wealthy Sackler family that owns the company had carefully researched the money-making potential of treatments aimed at reversing the epidemic.

An un-redacted section of the lawsuit describes a secret plan called Project Tango, which explored Purdue’s expansion into selling treatment options. The lawsuit states that Purdue and a member of the Sackler family determined that the millions of people who had become addicted to opioids were a prime business opportunity. Purdue staff wrote in internal documents quoted in the lawsuit that “It is an attractive market. Large unmet need for vulnerable, underserved and stigmatized patient population suffering from substance abuse, dependence and addiction.” 

Seriously, there is not a hole deep enough for these people.

Jack Klugman is Still Murdering People

Klugman has been dead for more than 6 years, but the orphan drug act that he championed is still giving drug companies a license to price old drugs at unaffordable levels:

In a letter sent Monday to the CEO of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) demanded the company explain its decision to set the price of Firdapse, a drug used to treat a rare neuromuscular disease called Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), at $375,000 per year.

For two decades, patients have received the same drug – known as 3,4-DAP – for free from Jacobus Pharmaceutical under the Food and Drug Administration’s compassionate use program. Recently, Catalyst licensed the rights to the drug and received exclusive rights to market Firdapse for seven years under the FDA’s orphan drug designation. In December 2018, Catalyst announced to investors it would set the list price for Firdapse at $375,000 per year.

As a result, patients around the country are frightened as to whether or not they will be able to maintain access to a drug they depend upon to survive.

Last week, Sanders spoke via Skype with one of those patients, Rebecca Hovde of Wellman, Iowa, who told him about the incredible anxiety people with LEMS are living with as a result of Catalyst’s decision to increase the price. “I have friends saying that it’s too much. They know they can’t afford it. And they’re just going to go to bed when their 3,4 DAP runs out,” Hovde told Sanders. (Watch the full conversation here.)

In response to the concerns raised by Hovde and other patients, Sanders asked the CEO of Catalyst how many patients will suffer or die due to their decision to set such an outrageous price, calling that decision “not only a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers, but…also an immoral exploitation of patients who need this medication.”

“By setting such a high price and forcing production and distribution of the older, inexpensive version to cease, you are threatening access that patients had to a cheap version of this product, and handing a completely unwarranted bill to American taxpayers,” Sanders wrote.

Sanders requested information on what Catalyst is charging patients, private insurers and government payers for the medication.

“The egregious price set by Catalyst cannot be allowed to stand. Patients in America should not be allowed to suffer or die because of the greed of a drug company. If Catalyst does not substantially lower the price of this medication, Congress must act to ensure it is affordable for every patient,” Sanders said.

Read Sanders’ letter to Catalyst here.

Sanders is right, but the problem is not Catalyst as much as it is a regulatory regime that is dedicated to excessive monopoly rents. 

It is evil, and it is wrong.

The Difference Between Sanders and Warren

I like Elizabeth Warren, but I’m gonna go with Bernie Sanders, because he gets it.

Let’s compare the quotes of big Pharma price gouging:


Giant companies may hate my Affordable Drug Manufacturing bill – but I don’t work for them. The American people deserve competitive markets and fair prices. By fixing the broken generic drug market, we can bring the cost of prescriptions down.


If the pharmaceutical industry will not end its greed, which is literally killing Americans, then we will end it for them.

Most Democrats, even  liberal ones, are unwilling to place this in moral terms, which leaves you with, “Not as bad as the other guy.”

They are prisoners of a system which is immoral, and they lack the ability to see it.

If you do not feel outrage, you a mindful human being, that’s probably the nicest way I can put it.

They Should Spend the Rest of Their Lives in Prison

I am referring, of course to the Sacklers, who aggressively misled the American public about the risks of Oxycontin:

Members of the Sackler family, which owns the company that makes OxyContin, directed years of efforts to mislead doctors and patients about the dangers of the powerful opioid painkiller, a court filing citing previously undisclosed documents contends.

When evidence of growing abuse of the drug became clear in the early 2000s, one of them, Richard Sackler, advised pushing blame onto people who had become addicted.

“We have to hammer on abusers in every way possible,” Mr. Sackler wrote in an email in 2001, when he was president of the company, Purdue Pharma. “They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.”

That email and other internal Purdue communications are cited by the attorney general of Massachusetts in a new court filing against the company, released on Tuesday. They represent the first evidence that appears to tie the Sacklers to specific decisions made by the company about the marketing of OxyContin. The aggressive promotion of the drug helped ignite the opioid epidemic.

The filing contends that Mr. Sackler, a son of a Purdue Pharma founder, urged that sales representatives advise doctors to prescribe the highest dosage of the powerful opioid painkiller because it was the most profitable.

This is a criminal enterprise. 

Go RICO on their asses and get a forfeiture order, because, as Billy Ray Valentine noted, “You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.”

See also here .

Our Dysfunctional Healthcare System

250 hospitals have have joined a consortium to manufacture their own generic drugs, in order to deal with the price gouging and shortages:

Hospitals have a creative plan to tackle the high price and frequent shortages of generic drugs.

The nonprofit company, dubbed Civica Rx, was first announced in early 2018, and has gained a lot of attention from other hospitals around the US who are interested in being a part of the venture.

On Monday, the organization said that another 12 health systems had joined its ranks, including Illinois and Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health, Michigan’s Spectrum Health, and NYU Langone Health. Together, they make add another 250 hospitals to the venture.

They join a slew of hospitals, including Catholic Health Initiatives, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, and Providence St. Joseph Health that serve as governing members. The Department of Veterans Affairs is also consulting with Civica to make sure the agency is getting what it needs for patients. 


To start, Civica will focus on making 14 drugs that are used in hospitals, typically injectable drugs. Those are expected to come in 2019. The company’s priorities include making essential medicines that have been on the FDA drug shortage list, and taking on decades-old drugs that have artificially higher prices because they don’t face any competition. 


For years, health systems have been on the hook for skyrocketing drug prices for injections or drugs delivered through IV solutions. And as of Thursday, there were 205 drugs currently facing shortages, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Those shortages include everything from bags of saline solution to common antibiotics and a type of epidural used for pregnant women during childbirth.

This is an indication of a profoundly broken system.

Smedly Butler* Would Say That This Makes War Look Honest

I am referring, of course, to the American healthcare system, specifically pharmaceutical manufacturers:

Executives at more than a dozen generic-drug companies had a form of shorthand to describe how they conducted business, insider lingo worked out over steak dinners, cocktail receptions and rounds of golf.

The “sandbox,” according to investigators, was the market for generic prescription drugs, where everyone was expected to play nice.

“Fair share” described dividing up the sales pie to ensure that each company reaped continued profits. “Trashing the market” was used when a competitor ignored these unwritten rules and sold drugs for less than agreed-upon prices.

The terminology reflected more than just the clubbiness of a powerful industry, according to authorities and several lawsuits. Officials from multiple states say these practices were central to illegal price-fixing schemes of massive proportion.

 God bless our private sector healthcare.

*General Smedly Butler’s best known quote is, “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

Forfeit their Assets and Throw them in Jail

It looks like the family that pushed Oxycontin on the world is looking well-deserved at civil and criminal exposure:

Members of the multibillionaire philanthropic Sackler family that owns the maker of prescription painkiller OxyContin are facing mass litigation and likely criminal investigation over the opioids crisis still ravaging America.

Some of the Sacklers wholly own Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, the company that created and sells the legal narcotic OxyContin, a drug at the center of the opioid epidemic that now kills almost 200 people a day across the US.

Suffolk county on Long Island, New York, recently sued several family members personally over the overdose deaths and painkiller addiction blighting local communities. Now lawyers warn that action will be a catalyst for hundreds of other US cities, counties and states to follow suit.

At the same time, prosecutors in Connecticut and New York are understood to be considering criminal fraud and racketeering charges against leading family members over the way OxyContin has allegedly been dangerously overprescribed and deceptively marketed to doctors and the public over the years, legal sources told the Guardian last week.

“This is essentially a crime family … drug dealers in nice suits and dresses,” said Paul Hanly, a New York city lawyer who represents Suffolk county and is also a lead attorney in a huge civil action playing out in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, involving opioid manufacturers and distributors.


The Sackler name is prominently attached to prestigious cultural and academic institutions that have accepted millions donated by the family in the US and the UK. It is now inscribed on a lawsuit alleging members of the family “actively participated in conspiracy and fraud to portray the prescription painkiller as non-addictive, even though they knew it was dangerously addictive”.


Now Hanly and other high-profile lawyers working on opioid litigation expect the family members to be sued by name as part of the multi-district litigation in Ohio. In federal court, lawsuits filed by more than 1,200 cities, counties and municipalities across the US, against Purdue and other corporate defendants, have been brought together in the hands of federal judge Dan Polster.


“They’ve been hiding behind a corporate structure and it’s high time they paid a price,” he said.

Yes, it’s high time.

I’d like to see them sharing cells with Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, James Goreman, James Cayne, Dick Fuld, and Josef Ackermann, but my guess that all of them will stay free and rich.

As My Brother is Wont to Say, a Stopped Clock is Ready Twice a Day

It looks like Donald Trump is proposing price controls on prescription drugs under Medicare Part B:

Up to now, most of President Donald Trump’s drug-pricing proposals have been more flash than substance. But that’s about to change.

Trump is set to detail a major pricing initiative in a speech Thursday afternoon in Washington, and early details suggest that this one has real teeth. Politico reports that the administration plans to benchmark Medicare prices for certain drugs against (much lower) prices in 16 other nations, and drop prices to their level over five years. The administration is specifically targeting expensive biologic drugs — medicines made by living cells — that are paid for by Medicare Part B, which covers drugs administered in doctors offices and hospitals.

It would be an unprecedented use of government muscle to bring drug costs down in Part B, where pharmaceutical companies currently have nearly unfettered pricing power. It remains to be seen if it can distract from the GOP’s other health-care woes as U.S. midterm elections approach. But in contrast with other recent drug-pricing efforts, this one has pharma investors scared, and for good reason.

My guess is that this about moving the needle in the upcoming elections, and it will be dropped in November,

Back Loaded Bribery

Nothing to see here, move along.

I am totally not surprised that big Pharmac has been paying off researchers who sit on government advisory panels:

On a sweltering July day in 2010, seven medical researchers and one patient advocate gathered in a plush Marriott hotel in College Park, Maryland, to review a promising drug designed to prevent heart attacks and strokes by limiting blood clotting. The panel is one of dozens of advisory committees that vote each year on whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should approve a therapy for the U.S. market. That day, panel members heard presentations on the drug’s preclinical and clinical data from agency staff and AstraZeneca in Cambridge, U.K., its maker and one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. The occasion sparked little drama. In the cool refuge of the conference room, advisers politely questioned company scientists and complimented their work. By day’s end, the panel voted seven to one to approve. FDA, as usual, later signed off. The drug, ticagrelor, marketed under the name Brilinta, sold rapidly, emerging as a billion-dollar blockbuster. It cuts risk of death from vascular causes, heart attacks, and strokes modestly more than its chief competitor—and currently costs 25 times as much.

FDA, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, uses a well-established system to identify possible conflicts of interest before such advisory panels meet. Before the Brilinta vote, the agency mentioned no financial conflicts among the voting panelists, who included four physicians. As Brilinta’s sales took off later, however, AstraZeneca and firms selling or developing similar cardiovascular therapies showered the four with money for travel and advice. For example, those companies paid or reimbursed cardiologist Jonathan Halperin of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City more than $200,000 for accommodations, honoraria, and consulting from 2013 to 2016. During that period, Halperin got $7500 from AstraZeneca to study Brilinta, and the company separately declared nearly $2 million in “associated research” payments tied to him.

Brilinta fits a pattern of what might be called pay-later conflicts of interest, which have gone largely unnoticed—and entirely unpoliced. In examining compensation records from drug companies to physicians who advised FDA on whether to approve 28 psychopharmacologic, arthritis, and cardiac or renal drugs between 2008 and 2014, Science found widespread after-the-fact payments or research support to panel members. The agency’s safeguards against potential conflicts of interest are not designed to prevent such future financial ties.

Other apparent conflicts may have also slipped by: Science found that at the time of or in the year leading up to the advisory meetings, many of those panel members—including Halperin—received payments or other financial support from the drugmaker or key competitors for consulting, travel, lectures, or research. FDA did not publicly note those financial ties.

The thing that is frightening is not the law breaking, it’s what is nominally legal.

Tweet of the Day

People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.

— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) May 30, 2018

This is, of course, in response to Rosanne Barr claiming that Ambien made her tweet racist bullsh%$.

In less than 24 hours, Rosanne has had me compliment the ethics of a TV executive, and express admiration for the public relations activities of a large pharmaceutical firm.

Reality has exceeded my capability for satire: It’s like a hideous inverse function of a miracle.

Even by the Standards of Trump, This is Unbelievably Stupid

Donald Trump has a plan to lower drug prices in the United State.

Basically, he wants to force other countries to pay more, and then big pharma, out of the goodness of its heart, will lower prices in the USA, because the drug companies will only take as much money as they need, and won’t waste it on excessive executive compensation or stock buybacks.

I’m not sure if they are being stupid, or if they think that we are this stupid, but in either case, the level of idiocy buggers the mind:

President Trump, poised on Friday to unveil his strategy to lower prescription drug prices, has an idea that may not be so popular abroad: Bring down costs at home by forcing higher prices in foreign countries that use their national health systems to make drugs more affordable.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump rebuffed his European allies by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. Threatened tariffs on steel and aluminum have strained relations with other developed nations. And now the administration is suggesting policies that could hit the pocketbooks of some of America’s strongest allies.

“We’re going to be ending global freeloading,” Mr. Trump declared at a meeting with drug company executives in his first month in office. Foreign price controls, he said, reduce the resources that American drug companies have to finance research and develop new cures.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers fleshed out the idea three months ago in a report that deplored the “underpricing of drugs in foreign countries.”

The council said that profit margins on brand-name drugs in the United States were four times as high as those in the more regulated markets of major European countries and Japan. The United States, it said, needs to “address the root of the problem: foreign, developed nations, that can afford to pay for novel drugs, free-ride by setting drug prices at unfairly low levels, leaving American patients to pay for the innovation that foreign patients enjoy.”

Most of pharma research funding already comes from the governmet and big pharma spends more on advertising and marketing than they do on research, but, according to Trump and his Evil Minions, the problem is that they can’t rape consumers hard enough.

Great googly moogly.

Not Enough Bullets

We have good news, and bad news.

The good news is that researchers have determined that an anti-cancer drug, Imbruvica (ibrutinib), was just as effective, with fewer side effects, at lower doses.

It would also save money for patients, or it would have if the drug maker had not tripled the cost of the drug in response:

A group of cancer doctors focused on bringing down the cost of treatments by testing whether lower — and cheaper — doses are effective thought they had found a prime candidate in a blood cancer drug called Imbruvica that typically costs $148,000 a year.

The science behind Imbruvica suggested that it could work at lower doses, and early clinical evidence indicated that patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia might do just as well on one or two pills a day after completing an initial round of treatment at three pills per day.

The researchers at the Value in Cancer Care Consortium, a nonprofit focused on cutting treatment costs for some of the most expensive drugs, set out to test whether the lower dose was just as effective — and could save patients money.

Then they learned of a new pricing strategy by Janssen and Pharmacyclics, the companies that sell Imbruvica through a partnership. Within the next three months, the companies will stop making the original 140-milligram capsule, a spokeswoman confirmed. They will instead offer tablets in four strengths — each of which has the same flat price of about $400, or triple the original cost of the pill.


Just as scientific momentum was building to test the effectiveness of lower doses, the new pricing scheme ensures dose reductions won’t save patients money or erode companies’ revenue from selling the drug. In fact, patients who had been doing well on a low dose of the drug would now pay more for their treatment. Those who stay on the dose equivalent to three pills a day won’t see a change in price.

“That got us kind of p—ed off,” said Mark J. Ratain, an oncologist at the University of Chicago Medicine who wrote about the issue in the Cancer Letter, a publication read by oncologists. “We were just in the early stages of planning [a clinical trial] and getting it organized, and thinking about sample size and funding, and we caught wind of what the company was doing.”

Pharma execs are, “A bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.”

I’m just saying.

I Propose Renaming Goldman Sachs to “Sirius Cybernetics Corporation”

Because the latest bit of analysis on healthcare from these guys, basically says that, there is no money on curing disease, we need to work to make everything chronic.

I believe the phrase, “A bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes,” should apply here:

One-shot cures for diseases are not great for business—more specifically, they’re bad for longterm profits—Goldman Sachs analysts noted in an April 10 report for biotech clients, first reported by CNBC.

The investment banks’ report, titled “The Genome Revolution,” asks clients the touchy question: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” The answer may be “no,” according to follow-up information provided.

Analyst Salveen Richter and colleagues laid it out:

The potential to deliver “one shot cures” is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, genetically engineered cell therapy, and gene editing. However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies… While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.

For a real-world example, they pointed to Gilead Sciences, which markets treatments for hepatitis C that have cure rates exceeding 90 percent. In 2015, the company’s hepatitis C treatment sales peaked at $12.5 billion. But as more people were cured and there were fewer infected individuals to spread the disease, sales began to languish. Goldman Sachs analysts estimate that the treatments will bring in less than $4 billion this year.

I want the guillotine concession on these rat-f%$#s.

I’d be a wealthy man.

Should I Start a GoFundMe?*

Poster child for backpfeifengesicht, a face that needs to be punched

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli will have to forfeit $7.6 million, including his copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time in Shaolin as a result.

My heart bleeds borscht:

The disgraced pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli must forfeit $7.36 million in assets (PDF) to the federal government following his fraud conviction, a judge ruled Monday. The assets set for forfeiture (PDF) include the single copy of the Wu-Tang album Once Upon A Time in Shaolin that Shkreli reportedly bought for $2 million, as well as a painting by Pablo Picasso.

The forfeiture follows Shkreli’s conviction last October on three of eight counts of securities and wire fraud. The federal government had indicted Shkreli in December of 2015 for running a Ponzi-like scheme, alleging he defrauded investors in two hedge funds he managed and siphoned millions from his pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, to cover losses.

Oh, the horror.

*For the snark impaired, if I do actually start a GoFundMe, it will be done ironically.

This is Because They are Afraid of Going to Jail

People are wondering why Perdue Pharmaceuticals, a company known of hard selling its signature drug OxyContin, is shutting down its marketing to doctors.

It’s pretty simple: They see the lawsuits coming, and the see the real possibility of criminal prosecutions, and they are trying to unwind the whole mess, and then cover it up.

Of course, this is America, so the Sackler family is at no risk of anything beyond a slap on the wrist, because billionaire criminals are above the law here.

Finally, a Senior Executive is Arrested

The billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics was arrested on Thursday on federal charges that he participated in a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe a fentanyl-based painkiller intended for cancer patients.

John Kapoor, the Insys founder, was charged with engaging in conspiracies to commit racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud in an indictment filed in Federal District Court in Boston. He was arrested in Arizona, where Insys is based, and added as a defendant in a case that was previously filed against six former Insys executives and managers, including Michael Babich, the former chief executive, prosecutors said.


The charges escalate the continuing inquiries into Insys related to Subsys, an under-the-tongue spray that contains fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid. They came as President Trump declared the country’s opioid problem a public health crisis.

William D. Weinreb, the acting United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the charges reflected a commitment on the part of authorities to combat the opioid-abuse epidemic. Opioids drugs were involved in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable, just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer,” Mr. Weinreb said in a statement.

 So a pharma executive got busted like the dope dealer that he is.

Now, how about going after Dimon, Blankfein, and the rest of those evil f%$#s?

Schadenfreude Alert

Martin Shkreli just had his bail revoked, because he was posting to Facebook offering money for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

The judge was unamused:

Martin Shkreli got slammed into jail Wednesday when a federal judge delivered a poetic punch line to the Pharma Bro’s Hillary Clinton jokes.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked Shkreli’s $5 million bail Wednesday evening, saying his $5,000 bounty on Clinton’s hair was the final straw.

She said his recent Facebook post calling for someone to pluck the ex-presidential candidate’s locks during her recent book tour could “cause a reasonable person to have concern.”

And even if Shkreli wasn’t being violent himself, no one knows what his online devotees were capable of doing, the judge said.

Am a bad person because his pain amuses me so much?