Late-night host John Oliver went after the Sackler family, who founded and owns the pharmaceutical company that created OxyContin, the opioid drug that is leading to addiction across the United States.
The “Last Week Tonight” host launched a new website called SacklerGallery.com, where videos will appear of actors reading Richard Sackler’s deposition that he tried to have sealed from the public.
The idea came from the many protests around the country at museums where the Sackler family tries to donate its money. The protesters demand that the museums and galleries stop taking drug money from the family desperate to have its name on anything from an institute at Yale or library at Oxford.
“Not bad for a family whose very name sounds like a Hamburgler-like villain that steals testicles,” Oliver said of the family.
The report from Oliver was the second he’s done on the opioid crisis, and the third on the drug crisis. But it’s been several years, and lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers have revealed that they were aware that their drugs were highly addictive.
“Let’s pull a few of these new revelations together and look at what we’ve learned about how the first wave of the opioid crisis began,” Oliver said at the top of the report. “Because it’s a story of how major companies acted wildly irresponsible, skirted any meaningful consequences and, for the most part, avoided public scrutiny.”
He began with the big three drug distributors: Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmensourceBergen. The second one, however, he noted managed to ignore a pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, where the population of just 400 people was getting more than 3 million doses of the narcotic Hydrocodone.
“That’s just one example of McKesson’s reckless behavior,” Oliver said. “The problem is, at no point were they effectively deterred.”
He said that in 2008, the DEA found that McKesson failed to control the narcotic and the company agreed to a $13 million fine and refused to admit wrong-doing. They promised to create a monitoring program that would catch these types of problems, but it didn’t work. A DEA agent said that their “bad acts continued and escalated to a level of egregiousness not seen before.”
“Because, of course, they did!” Oliver exclaimed. “You can’t put McKesson in charge of monitoring McKesson.” He equated it to having a bear in charge of monitoring the bears at the zoo. Ultimately, someone is going to get mauled.
The report continues, revealing the heartless ways in which these drug makers and distributors couldn’t possibly care less about their role in the opioid crisis.
Watch the shocking video below:
IMPEACHMENT: House announces two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump
At 9:07 AM ET Speaker Nancy Pelosi began a press conference to announce the House will draft and vote upon this week Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump. Those articles are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Calling it a “solemn day,” the Speaker thanked the six committee chairs who have been engaged in the impeachment inquiry, and gave special thanks to the late Chairman Elijah Cummings.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler dsaid Trump “endangers” the Constitution and American democracy.
“Today the House Committee is introducing two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
What the Roman senate’s grovelling before emperors explains about GOP senators’ support for Trump
Unhinged leaders, dynastic intrigue, devastation and plunder: For 15 years I have been researching and teaching the ancient historian Tacitus’ works on the history of the Roman Empire. It has rarely been difficult to find echoes of the history he describes in current events.
I’m not the first person to make this observation.
Economist Paul Krugman: Trump’s ‘white nationalist regime’ is terrible for American Jews
Most of President Donald Trump’s inflammatory speeches are designed to energize his hardcore MAGA base, but occasionally, Trump will try to persuade non-Republican, non-MAGA voters that no matter how much they dislike him, they have no choice but to vote for him — otherwise, “socialist” Democrats will harm them economically. Liberal economist Paul Krugman, in his December 9 column for the New York Times, notes that Trump made such an argument when he addressed the Israeli American Council on Saturday night, December 8. Not only was the speech anti-Semitic, Krugman asserts, but also, Trump failed to make a convincing argument for why Jewish voters in the United States should support him.