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Damning court docs show just how far Sacklers went to push OxyContin | Ars Technica
Secretive, wealthy Sackler family is at the heart of the opioid crisis, lawsuit alleges.
With the opioid epidemic raging, you may at this point be familiar with Purdue Pharma. It makes the powerful painkiller OxyContin and has been widely blamed for igniting the current crisis.
After debuting OxyContin in 1996, Purdue raked in billions using aggressive and deceptive sales tactics, including ratcheting up dosages of the addictive opioid while lying about its addictiveness. As OxyContin prescriptions soared, opioid overdose deaths increased six-fold in the US, killing more than 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017. Of those deaths, around 200,000 involved prescription opioids specifically.
In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty in federal court to misleading doctors, regulators, and patients about the addictiveness of OxyContin. The company has seen a flurry of lawsuits making similar allegations since then.
What you may be less aware of is the wealthy, philanthropic family behind Purdue: the Sacklers. Before the opioid epidemic, the family name was mostly associated with museums and prestigious universities, including art galleries at the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard. The Sacklers have worked to keep their good name and mostly stay out of the spotlight. But new, explosive court filings in a case brought by the state of Massachusetts stand to further thwart the family’s efforts.
Documents released this week (PDF) allege—and include new, rather damning evidence—that members of the Sackler family not only knew about the illegal and loathsome activities at Purdue, but they personally directed them. Members of the Sackler family, particularly Richard Sackler, aggressively pushed for extreme sales figures—and profits—which they accomplished in part by bullying their sales representatives; targeting vulnerable patients, such as the elderly and veterans; suggesting that the addictive opioid was an alternative to safe medications like Tylenol; and encouraging doctors to write longer and higher dose prescriptions, according to the lawsuit. All the while, the family allegedly dismissed evidence of OxyContin’s addictiveness and blamed patients for their addictions—referring to them as “reckless criminals.”
drugs  business  big_pharma  family  legal  opioids  crime 
11 hours ago by rgl7194
Trump Must Be a Russian Agent; the Alternative Is Too Awful | WIRED
IT WOULD BE rather embarrassing for Donald Trump at this point if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn’t an agent of Russian intelligence.
THE PATTERN OF his pro-Putin, pro-Russia, anti-FBI, anti-intelligence community actions are so one-sided, and the lies and obfuscation surrounding every single Russian meeting and conversation are so consistent, that if this president isn’t actually hiding a massive conspiracy, it means the alternative is worse: America elected a chief executive so oblivious to geopolitics, so self-centered and personally insecure, so naturally predisposed to undermine democratic institutions and coddle authoritarians, and so terrible a manager and leader, that he cluelessly surrounded himself with crooks, grifters, and agents of foreign powers, compromising the national security of the US government and undermining 75 years of critical foreign alliances, just to satiate his own ego.
In short, we’ve reached a point in the Mueller probe where there are only two scenarios left: Either the president is compromised by the Russian government and has been working covertly to cooperate with Vladimir Putin after Russia helped win him the 2016 election—or Trump will go down in history as the world’s most famous “useful idiot,” as communists used to call those who could be co-opted to the cause without realizing it.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
11 hours ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Garrett Graff: 'Trump Must Be a Russian Agent; the Alternative Is Too Awful'
Garrett Graff, writing for Wired:
In short, we’ve reached a point in the Mueller probe where there are only two scenarios left: Either the president is compromised by the Russian government and has been working covertly to cooperate with Vladimir Putin after Russia helped win him the 2016 election — or Trump will go down in history as the world’s most famous “useful idiot,” as communists used to call those who could be co-opted to the cause without realizing it.
At least the former scenario — that the president of the United States is actively working to advance the interests of our country’s foremost, long-standing, traditional foreign adversary — would make him seem smarter and wilier. The latter scenario is simply a tragic farce for everyone involved.
My guess is it’s a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B — that Russia has something on Trump and he’s a useful idiot. Graff makes a good point, though — we’re still far from knowing the whole story, but we already know enough that it’s not possible for Trump to come out of this clean.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  daring_fireball 
11 hours ago by rgl7194
How children playing Fortnite are helping to fuel organised crime | The Independent
Discounted V-bucks are being sold in bulk on the dark web – a hidden section of the internet only accessible using specialist software – as well as in smaller quantities on the open web by advertising them on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. By posing as potential customers, Sixgill agents uncovered operations being conducted around the globe in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English.
crime  law  videogames  economics 
16 hours ago by basemaly
ChicagoGangs.org Website
Google Maps mashup shows gang territories and names
Rogerspark  crime  gang  map  tool  reference  chicago  19jam 
yesterday by csrollyson

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