I have previously compared the Sacklers to notorious drug kingpins like El Chapo and Pablo Escobar. This seemed fitting because their privately owned drug company, Purdue Pharma, has probably been responsible for more deaths during the past 20 years than the lethal Sinaloa and Zeta Cartels combined. The Sacklers have until very recently been able […]
President Trump announced in September that he would issue a strict executive order banning the candy flavored e-cigarettes that have triggered an alarming teenage vaping epidemic. He was responding to intense public health pressures. Federal surveys showed that 27.5% of teens had vaped in the past month. This constitutes an enormous and risky public health […]
The touting of ketamine as a wonder drug for depression has both puzzled and distressed me. There were all kinds of reasons premature ketamine exuberance seemed wrong and potentially dangerous: It was fast-tracked by the FDA without the usual expectation that it first prove its efficacy and safety. The studies supporting its efficacy were very few, small, short-term, […]
This is the moment of legal reckoning for the drug companies that caused the opioid epidemic. Some of the 2000 plus lawsuits have already been settled and the rest are in active negotiations, with new headlines every day. The crucial question from the victims’ perspective is not the global outcome of the lawsuits, but whether […]
Is a free market solution to the war on drugs the best way to end the conflict? A decisive answer may be difficult, but it is safe to say the United States’s prohibition approach has been a failure. We have been fighting the “war on drugs” for almost 50 years and have lost every single battle. […]
The Vaping Crisis, Lung Diseases, and Silver Linings The good news about the recent tragic spate of vaping lung disease and death is that the response to it has been rapid and thorough. It took 40 years, with 400,000 deaths a year, to finally limit the sales of tobacco products. This came mostly as a […]
Twenty years ago, Big Tobacco was up against big time class action law suits all across the nation. Its response was to hire the fanciest lawyers it could find and mount a spirited defense based mostly on the legal principle of “pre-emption”- that a company can’t be held liable for damages if its actions are […]
The CDC and health officials in at least a dozen states are studying a mysterious new lung disease likely caused by vaping. Many victims are quite young, reflecting the recent widespread use of e-cigarettes among middle schoolers and high school students. About four million school kids report vaping in the last month. So far the number […]
I am not a particularly naive person and don’t get easily shocked by the extremities of human greed and selfish cruelty. But the unremittingly evil behavior of the Sackler family goes well beyond what is normally encountered even among the worst of people. In starting and aggressively promoting the lethal US opioid epidemic, the Sacklers were […]
I have strongly supported legalizing pot. Not because it’s safe (no drug is safe), but because pot prohibition has always failed to reduce pot use. It also seems silly to focus on the dangers of pot when so many more dangerous substances (prescription opioids, alcohol, and street drugs) are so widely available. But I think we must now […]
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