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Posts Tagged ‘Mylan’

Infamous Drug Cartels

USA Today reported in its February 13, 2018, edition that “The five biggest opioid manufacturers shelled out more than $10 million to patient advocacy groups, professional medical societies and affiliated individuals – who then “echoed and amplified” messages that encouraged use of those highly addictive drugs, which set the stage for the opioid epidemic.

That is according to a Senate committee investigation, released Monday, that examined the financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and outside groups from 2012 through 2017.”

The five corporations investigated by the committed were Purdue Pharma, Jassen Pharmaceuticals, Mylan, Depomed and Insys Therapeutics. In terms of global sales in 2015, these are the world’s biggest opioid drug makers.

These corporations gave their millions to such recipients as U.S. Pain Foundation, the National Pain Foundation and the Academy fo Integrative Pain Management. The report finds that the American Academy of Pain Medicine and American Pain Society “…promoted opioids as safe and effective for treating chronic pain and minimized the risk of addiction.” The report also points out that “…the Academy of Pain Medicine and the Center for Practical Bioethics spoke out against federal efforts to limit opioid prescribing.” Apparently, the bioethics of those who receive industry money is on the side of the industry. The industry and all their paid flunkies and flunkie organizations are as corrupt as the representatives of the US government, which is the most corrupt government in the industrialized world.

Note in the very first quote above listed “affiliated individuals” as recipients who received some of that $10 million in cash. Those folks are called medical doctors. Apparently, they are being paid to prescribe opioids to patients.

The day the report was released, bad citizen and opioid manufacturer Purdue announced: “…its employees will no longer visit doctors’ offices to pitch opioids, and it will cut its sales force by half to 200.” We will never know how many pharmaceutical salespeople offered thousands of doctors a little under the table money on behalf of their employers to prescribe opioids with abandon and without common sense to unsuspecting patients, and all for a little extra and perhaps unreported cash.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who launched the investigation, “called Purdue’s announcement “‘a major step forward’ but said the Senate report is ‘the tip of the iceberg’ in terms of how drug company money shapes health care policy debates and legislative outcomes.” In other words, Big Pharma is still calling the shots in the halls of Congress and in the white house, as well as determining what is said in the corporate news media and what politicians of both major political parties say.

The greater the opioid crisis in fueling addiction, the greater are the profits of the big drug manufacturers. Affluent shareholders and millionaire top executive officers would be far less wealthy without the opioid addictions they have created through the use of their money and corruption.

Mylan’s share price rose from $6.26 in 2008 to $42.14 on February 16, 2018. Depomed’s share price rose from $1.49 in 2008 to $7.44 on February 16, 2018. Isays has dropped 400+ percent since 2008. Janssen and Purdue are privately held companies. Without the sale of opioids, these companies would be in far worse financial positions nowadays.

The rich have corrupted your government, disarmed the US Constitution in the process, and created an addiction that redistributes the health of members of the 99 percent straight into their own pockets via greater corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends. The affluent and their corporations have fueled the crisis, and not a soul that I am aware of is going to prison for bribery or conspiracy to create a public health crisis.

That is how corrupt your government has become over the last thirty-five years. Corporate profits, share prices, and dividends are more important than human health. Just ask any Republican politician in Washington D.C. and most Democratic Party members, as well.

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The Epipen delivers a dose of epinephrine, otherwise known as adrenaline, to treat extreme allergic reactions. It’s been around for more than a century. And the pen that delivers the medication has been around since the 1970s, when it was first developed by the US military with taxpayer dollars.

Epinephrine was invented in Japan. This jump-started other areas of emergency medication for heart and lung problems. The hormone is now used in hospitals around the world, and is included on the WHO’s list of essential medicine. It only costs a few dollars for a vial.

Mylan, which is the corporation with the legal right to the taxpayer funded Epipen, recently relocated outside the United States to avoid paying taxes.

Proxy filings show that from 2007 to 2015, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase. During the same period, the company raised EpiPen prices, with the average wholesale price going from $56.64 to $317.82, a 461 percent increase, according to data provided by Connecture.

Mylan was able to rip off the public because it bought legislation through corrupt politicians, and let’s face it, the US government from the White House to almost every US senator and almost every US member of the House of Representatives have been bought and packaged by big business so as to increase their profits at the expense of the 99 percent.

According to NBC News, “After Mylan acquired EpiPen the company also amped up its lobbying efforts. In 2008, its reported spending on lobbying went from $270,000 to $1.2 million, according to opensecrets.org.

Legislation that enhanced its bottom line followed, with the FDA changing its recommendations in 2010 that two EpiPens be sold in a package instead of one and that they be prescribed for at-risk patients, not just those with confirmed allergies. And in 2013 the government passed a law to give block grants to states that required they be stocked in public schools.

In 2007 the company bought the rights to EpiPen, a device used to provide emergency epinephrine to stop a potentially fatal allergic reaction and began raising its price. In 2008 and 2009, Mylan raised the price by 5 percent. At the end of 2009 it tried out a 19 percent hike. The years 2010-2013 saw a succession of 10 percent price hikes.

The stock price more than tripled, going from $13.29 in 2007 to a high of $47.59 in 2016.”

In other words, the US government aided and abetted a monopoly so that it could redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Furthermore, as a complete monopoly, the US government allowed Mylan to rip off the needy in violation of the numerous US laws, which include the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

That’s how corrupt your government is.

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