Thursday, August 04, 2022
Book: American opioid industry operated like a drug cartel
In the new book American Cartel, Washington Post journalists Scott Higham and co-author Sari Horwitz “make the case that the pharmaceutical industry operated like a drug cartel, with manufacturers at the top; wholesalers in the middle; and pharmacies at the level of ‘street dealers,'” Terry Gross reports for NPR. “What’s more, Higham says, the companies collaborated with each other — and with lawyers and lobbyists — to create legislation that protected their industry, even as they competed for market share.”
“Higham says that big pharma fought to create legislation that would limit the DEA’s ability to go after drug wholesalers,” Gross reports. “The efforts were effective; more than 100 billion pills were manufactured, distributed and dispensed between 2006 and 2014, during the height of the opioid epidemic. Meanwhile, both federal and state DEA agents are frustrated by the ways in which their enforcement efforts have been curtailed.” Read more here.