“We see what others don’t” is the slogan on Mundipharma’s website.
What the site does not tell you is who built Mundipharma into a global pharmaceutical mammoth. Simply that it was founded in the US by two physicians (unnamed brothers Mortimer and Raymond Sackler) in 1952.
Nor is it very loud about Oxycontin, an opioid medication used for treatment of moderate to severe pain, and the foundation stone of Mundipharma’s billions of dollars of annual revenues.
Addiction to Oxycontin has devastated much of America and is now the subject of a class action case in the States. It kills around 200 people a day and has cost the US an estimated $1 trillion between 2002 and 2018.
The Sackler family – a disputatious and quarreling lot – are “essentially a crime family … drug dealers in nice suits and dresses” according to one lawyer involved in the class action case.
The Sackler goose has been cooked by a variety of authoritative reports over the years but perhaps none more so than this one. This report identifies how almost $40 million was spent on marketing synthetic opioids (such as Oxycontin) to 67,507 doctors in the US between 1 August 2013 and 31 December 2015, encouraging them to prescribe it.
The killer sentence of the report is this: the “marketing of opioid products to physicians was associated with increased opioid prescribing and, subsequently, with elevated mortality from overdoses.”
Some drug-dealers in the US are serving very long jail sentences. Others get to plaster their names on art galleries, museums, and other pleasure-domes of the bourgeoisie.