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Featured Letter: Big pharma’s recipe for addiction

The April 18 editorial discussing the opioid crisis touched on so many valid points that I felt a need to respond.

First off, thank you for bringing attention to the carnage that has been done in this country due to unapologetic greed. The Sackler family made $33-plus billion on one drug, OxyContin. While claiming it was less addictive than other opioids of the time, they indicated its extended-release formula only required two dosages daily. That was a baldfaced lie. They kept a full-court press on doctors to prescribe higher dosages to make up for the fact that they didn’t last for 12 hours.

A recipe for addiction.

They actually claimed in a memo to the FDA that it was safer than taking larger doses of acetaminophen. They lied their way to becoming the 19th wealthiest family in America. One particular galling email came out when a Sackler family member was told in 2016 that 59 people had died in one county in Massachusetts. His response was “It could have been a lot worse.” Pure evil!

I would love to see those responsible for this carnage to have to make amends by forfeiting every dollar earned and serving jail time. The FDA and the House have a very cozy relationship with Big Pharma. I would say this amounts to a form of bribery. The pharmaceutical lobby spends approximately $250 million a year, which, in essence, allowed this manmade tragedy to occur. Just ask Dr. Curtis Wright, who headed up the FDA when the approval was given to Purdue for the “end of life” drug, OxyContin. How ironic, that within six months, this same Dr. Wright, in clear violation of FDA guidelines, was employed by Purdue, heading up product development. The last time I checked, the FDA was founded to protect our health and safety. Really? Same with House members who accept campaign contributions amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, to do what is good for them, not us.

One last important point: Since Purdue has incurred all this negative publicity, they decided it would be wise to start a 100% family-owned subsidiary named Rhodes Pharmaceutical in Rhode Island. They are making generic forms of Suboxone and Narcan to make even more money from the crisis they helped create.

Their evil ways have no boundaries.

Rob and Fran Fox

Written in memory of Kyle R. Fox, who died Sept. 6, 2017.