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New Report Details How Big Pharma Created and Profited From Opioid Addiction

Hedge Clippers, an organization dedicated to exposing the political and economic havoc wreaked by hedge funds and billionaires on the American people, has released a new report titled Hedge Papers No. 57: Stopping the Opioid Profiteers – How Policymakers and Communities Can Fight Back.

The report details how leading pharmaceutical companies have enriched themselves with opioid-based drugs to the detriment of the masses. These companies produce opioid-based medications that get users addicted and then turn around to develop drugs that treat such addictions. Hedge funds are also in on the game by funding cannabinoids and opioid addiction and then profiteering from the ensuing health crises.

How Opioid Profiteers Exploit the American Health Crises for Economic Empowerment

In the report, Hedge Clippers identified the modus operandi of the biggest opioid profiteers and reveals how policymakers and everyone in the society can mount a common front to fight against them. The paper identified billionaires that operate drug companies and how they fund large-scale political campaigns to attempt to sway legislation that affects the health of the people.

With massive donations to politicians, the pharmaceutical billionaires undermine Medicare and Medicaid among other helpful health programs. And, since influential politicians are now in the pockets of these drug companies, the billionaire owners can evade tax, disregard regulations, lobby for harmful policies and work to monetize public services.

“Profiting from any addiction crisis is wrong,” the report states, “and profiting from a national opioid epidemic impacting millions of Americans is morally reprehensible in the strongest sense.”

Opioid deaths overdose crisis

US yearly overdose deaths, and some of the drugs involved. Among the more than 64,000 deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids in the chart) with over 20,000 deaths. Pic via National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). – 2000-2016 chart from Overdose Death Rates. By National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Billionaire Pharmaceutical Owners Profiteering From Opioid-Induced Health Crises

Hedge Papers No. 57 identified a number of billionaire pharmaceutical families profiteering from opioid-induced health crises in the United States. Some of the opioid profiteers identified in the report are the following –

  • Richard and Jonathan Sackler – owners of Purdue Pharma
  • John Hammergren – owner of McKesson Corporation
  • John Kapoor – owner of Insys Therapeutics
  • James E. Flynn – owner of Deerfield Management, a healthcare-based hedge fund
  • John Paulson – owner of Paulson & Co., a hedge fund
  • David Bonderman – owner of TPG Capital, largest investor in Endo Pharmaceuticals

Many of these pharmaceutical companies develop and market potent opioid medications including OxyContin, oxycodone and hydrocodone. These drug companies also produce generic morphine and fentanyl among other potentially dangerous drugs.

How Policymakers and Communities Can Fight Harmful Opioid Enterprises

Together legislators, social influencers, policymakers and communities can fight back at opioid profiteers. Below are some of the initiatives that Hedge Clippers suggested to combat the influence of opioid businesses –

  • Outreach programs that educate the public with accurate information
  • Sales or excise taxes on opioid pharmaceutical companies
  • Windfall profits tax on billionaire opioid profiteers
  • A fully-funded healthcare system that every member of the public can access for free
  • Unhindered access to naloxone, harm reduction services and medical treatments
  • Healthcare program, such as Medicare, with no requirements to access treatments

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, “opioid crises in the US should be declared a state of emergency since over 140 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.”

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