Uncle Sam Allows, Even Helps Fuel A New Generation Of Opiate Addicts
By Nurse Mark
While our government wages a ruinous and futile “War On Drugs” and wastes time and resources with an undeclared war on vitamins and natural supplements” and sends armed swat teams to raid the sellers of such dangerous things as raw milk it is turning a blind eye to – and even supporting – the efforts of Big Pharma to turn America into a nation of opiate addicts.
A recent analysis by The Associated Press paints a disturbing picture of an explosion of prescription drug abuse over the past decade:
Nationwide, pharmacies received and ultimately dispensed the equivalent of 69 tons of pure oxycodone and 42 tons of pure hydrocodone in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available. That’s enough to give 40 5-mg Percocets and 24 5-mg Vicodins to every person in the United States.
A group called The Alliance For Natural Health expanded on this AP article bringing some information of their own into the picture – tying together the various financial and other conflicts of interest that exist between the drug companies and our government agencies that are supposedly responsible for our safety and well-being:
As Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, pointed out in her 2004 book The Truth about the Drug Companies, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) employs more lobbyists in Washington than there are members of Congress. Since 2007, the group has spent more than $20 million annually on lobbying in Washington to see that its interests are protected.
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) is supposed to set “quotas” of amounts of drugs that a drug company can manufacture and sell, so that these drugs do not flood the country and end up in the hands of addicts. Former DEA official Gene Haislip says however that DEA won’t block a drug company’s requests for a quota increase “if that company is supporting members of Congress who have the power to block the agency’s funding.”
It looks like 20 million dollars a year buys a lot of support. A watchdog organization called OpenSecrets.org has compiled research showing how drug company money finds it’s way to Washington. Interestingly, the top two recipients of Big Pharma money in the years 2011/2012 are Barack Obama at $362,879 and Mitt Romney at $263,735.
The OpenSecrets.org list of top 20 pharmaceutical / health care products recipients can be found here.
Drug giant Pfizer was the largest “contributor” in 2011 / 2012, lining congressional pockets to the tune of $848,899. They are hardly alone in their largess though – a more complete list of the payoffs can be found here, on the OpenSecrets.org site.
We have written about the drug-pushing tendencies of our government agencies before – The Drug Pushers in Your Neighborhood is just one of many articles to discuss the cozy relationship between Big Pharma and the FDA and other government regulators – but this latest information regarding the incestuous nature of relations between DEA, Big Pharma, and congress is particularly alarming.
Is there any doubt that as long as this unrestricted lobbying is allowed to buy congressional favor we will continue to be a nation in trouble?
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