Leaks reveal how the "Pitbull of PR" helped Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers ignite the opioid crisis

Propublica has obtained a tranche of leaked internal communications between the Sackler family's Purdue Pharma, makers of the lethal opioid Oxycontin, and Dezenhall Resources, known as "The Pitbull of Public Relations," whose previous client roster includes Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, Exxon and other "beleaguered corporations," who masterminded a "blame the victim" strategy that apportioned responsibility for Oxycontin's mounting death toll on the people who became addicted to it — not the Sacklers and Purdue, who falsified science, bribed doctors, and made billions from an epidemic that has now claimed more American lives than the Vietnam War.

UPDATE: New York State goes after the Sackler family's opioid fortune, claims they funneled their Oxy millions through offshore laundries

Update: We have received a legal letter from Thomas A. Clare, of Clare Locke LLP, writing on behalf of the Sacklers expressing the family's concern that the image of a guillotine and the "guillotine watch" tag originally accompanying this post would be interpreted as a call to violence against the Sackler family, who have, per Mr Clare, received such threats. — Read the rest

Meet the billionaire Sackler family behind the national opioid crisis

Full Frontal's Samantha Bee presents the Sackler family, "art patrons, cosmopolitans, and, believe it or not, almost single-handedly responsible for the nationwide opioid crisis."

The Sacklers aren't just rich. They are rich. They have wings named after them at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, an entire museum at Harvard, a center at the Guggenheim…
So how do you get to have this many museums name shit after you?

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The Sackler Family: best known for philanthropy, they made billions promoting Oxycontin

Purdue cynically created the American opiod epidemic through a combination of bribing medical professionals to overprescribe Oxycontin, publishing junk science, and aggressively lobbying regulators at every level to turn a blind eye to the destruction of the lives of millions of patient; while the company settled a record-setting criminal case, the name of the secretive family of billionaires who run Purdue and profited from the Oxy epidemic is best known for philanthropy, not profiteering: the Sackler family.

The Science of Science Communication: Xeni at Nat'l. Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium (live video feed)

I'm in Washington, DC today to participate in The National Academy of Sciences' second Sackler colloquium, which is organized "to advance a national dialogue about science communication."

Climate change… evolution… the obesity crisis… nanotechnology: These are but a few of the scientific topics dominating the world stage today.

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty on criminal charges including anti-kickback law, and defrauding the U.S.

The makers of the highly addictive prescription painkiller Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma LP, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges in part of a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve an investigation into the drugmaker's role in the U.S. opioid crisis.

Of three total criminal counts against Purdue, two were for violating a federal anti-kickback law, and another charged them with defrauding the United States and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. — Read the rest

Cory Doctorow describes what's wrong about "Surveillance Capitalism"

Cory Doctorow's new short book, How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism, was just published in its entirety on OneZero. Below is Cory's Twitter thread that summarizes his argument that the problem with surveillance capitalism isn't that it big tech has AI-enhanced power to brainwash people, the problem is that big tech uses its monopoly power in ways that lead to totalitarian control over our lives. — Read the rest

One of the poorest, most desperate regions in Appalachia is experiencing an economic miracle thanks to fiber run by a New Deal-era co-op

Kentucky's Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative came out of a local electrification co-op set up during the New Deal, and in 1949 it was expanded into a telephone co-op with more federal infrastructure money. Today, the PRTC has used Obama FCC funding to expand into public broadband delivery, wiring up all of Jackson and Owsley Counties, some of the poorest places in America, using a mule called "Old Bub" to haul fiber through inaccessible mountain passes and other extremely isolated places.

A former pharma rep explains how the industry pushes doctors to overprescribe

The pharma industry spends $2 on marketing for every $1 it spends on R&D: Shahram Ahari was a rep for Eli Lilly, so he knows how the money was spent: in a tell-all op-ed in the Washington Post, Ahari describes how he lavished spending over doctors, everything from dinners at "so many fancy Manhattan restaurants that the maitre d's greeted me by name" to free ballgames and Broadway musical tickets to offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to top prescribers.