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'Shame on Sackler': Massive Protest Breaks Out Over Museum's Ties to Big Pharma


'Shame on Sackler': Massive Protest Breaks Out Over Museum's Ties to Big Pharma

Common Dreams staff

Demonstrators inside New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum staged a "die in" and dropped thousands of paper slips designed to look like of OxyContin prescriptions Saturday night to protest the facility's ties to the billionaire Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma and has been accused of deliberately fueling the opioid epidemic for profit.


A protest targeting the oligarchic family actually responsible instead of whatever politicians they bought?
Why America, i did not think you had it in you.
There may actually be hope for you yet.


So much “philanthropy” in this country is just PR coverup for corporate malfeasance. Names bedeck buildings, conference rooms, etc. ad nauseam as the wealthy ejaculate their guilt taxes amongst the masses. “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” --Honore de Balzac


American drug lords.



There is no doubt what they have done is a crime in my opinion. That being said I have been taking oxycodone for 10 years. It is the only thing that kills the pain of my many issues. Am I addicted? NO. Am I drug dependent? YES. Oil, guns and drugs rule the planet. Legal, illegal, doesn’t matter. Can we change this? Most likely not.


What is their opium source? Not just speculation but the facts. What role does the U.S. protected opium from Afghanistan play?


You bring up an interesting hypothesis which the old quote. Yesterday I read an article from the Tampa times about how the victims of this summers hurricane in the panhandle are still living in campers and most still have tarps over their roofs as many of the charities, both national and local, whose power would normally have been brought to bare by now to help out the rebuild of these towns and the lives of their inhabitants, have been absent from the region because donations are way down this year. I predicted that, after the Trump tax cuts and the rewrite of the laws that all but eliminated deductions for charitable contributions, we would see just how charitable US corporations and individuals really were. The results have been pretty stark. Donations are way down.
And now the private sector that Saint Ronny used to tell us could take care of things like natural disaster relief so much better than the government (it never could and never did) is now conspicuously absent in an era where climate driven disasters are on a precipitous rise.
We now live in pay-as-you-go libertarian America. Having a tough time after a storm? Can’t pay your bills after a traffic accident? Job get “outsourced” to Indonesia? Tough shit. You’re on your own kid. The only way you’ll get satisfaction now is if you can afford a lawyer and wait years for a court date, or grab a gun and get satisfaction yourself. It’s slowly becoming a mad max world out there kiddies. Enjoy the ride.


Interesting point. The governments own stats (dubious thought hey may be) claim that 10% of people with opioid prescriptions will become addicted. While still terrible if true, that means 90% of the users DONT become addicted.
I’ll wager the rates of alcoholism among drinkers is comparable to those numbers yet no one is screaming about America’s drunks.


It was only a matter of time before a liberal site actually covered this issue–from the completely wrong side.

As someone being slowly killed by the fake “crisis”, and heavily involved in the pain patients’ rights movement, I have to respond.

  1. Most overdose fatalities are multitoxic–meaning there’s more than one substance contributing to the fatality in the bloodstream. That’s usually a sign of one of two things: someone with undertreated or untreated pain or an actual addict.

  2. Most autopsies can’t distinguish between prescription amounts of a fatal drug and its illegal analog. This is especially true with fentanyl, which is actually the "crisis’ people are seeing.

  3. The Sacklers may be scum, but they weren’t lying about Oxycontin not being especially addictive. This is, in fact, a true statement. Already two cases against Purdue have been tossed out before they even got started for this precise reason. There’s no factual basis to support legal prescriptions on Oxycontin being addictive when taken as instructed. The addiction rate is generally .5 percent.

  4. The ultimate proof of my arguments rests with one critical piece of data—as prescriptions have been massively slashed for chronic pain patients, opioid-connected overdose fatalities have actually increased! That’s a complete inversion of the causal arrow in the media-dominant argument.

  5. Red Lawhern proved using basic statistical analysis that there were no relationships whatsoever between the number of pills dispensed by state and fatalities linked to prescription drugs. A basic scatterplot of the CDCs own data proves this easily. If you’d like a link to that data, I can provide one (as I can provide sources for all of my claims. It’s a tough day for me pain wise, so my abilities are limited).

  6. The CDC’s guidelines were formulated by a political lobbying organization called PROP–led by a psychiatrist named Andrew Kolodny (enemy number one among my people). They cheated on the reporting of opioid deaths by conflating illegal and legal opioids knowingly in order to dramatically elevate the numbers that would be implicitly linked to prescriptions. It’s a common tactic among dishonest brokers in medical debates. Few Americans even know this technique exists. Neither did I until it happened to me.

  7. The Sackler’s are being thrown under the bus to actually advance the financial interests of much larger pharma villains here. Most of us recognize the lobbying power of “big pharma”. Really? So why is Purdue under this kind of intense pressure with almost no word from the pharma associations? Simple. Because the plan is to get rid of oxy and replace it with a drug called “suboxone”, another synthetic opioid produced by larger companies. Further, reclassifying pain patients as “addicts” benefits the makers of mental illness drugs, which is where the real power and money in pharma reside. Not in pain medication. For emphasis, Purdue is usually around the 31st biggest pharma corporation in the world. Lilly and pfizer, both makers of addiction treatment medication and benzos out the ass are top 6. They are also both working on replacing the market share of oxycontin with pain medicines of their own.

  8. No addicts have been helped by this chapter of the drug war in the last 4 years of its intense but largely invisible combat (the “liberal” press has been conspicuously absent on the subject). What has happened is that the suicide rate among chronically ill patients has exploded. I am one of them. I will not survive this chapter of the drug war. We bury 3-4 people a week in my social communities of pain patients because of this campaign. It’s a virtual medical holocaust right beneath your feet.

  9. It’s not a crisis anyway. Between 80-100 million Americans a year take some form of opiate for medicinal reasons on average. Usually short term for acute conditions like surgery or dentistry. Most of you have taken them. And almost none of you got addicted to them. Even if the worst data were actually true (17k fatalities a year from prescription drug addiction), this is still a tiny number of the total population exposed to the “heroin pills”.

You’re being played by a very sophisticated BIg Rehab/Pharma campaign that is using the antagonism against pharma as a weapon to advance its interests!

Those of you who are disabled and have chronically painful conditions please speak up in these comments. We need to “correct this record” before many thousands more of us are slaughtered because people can’t understand the medical science of prescription pain medication.

Stop. Killing. Us.


Isn’t the overdose causal relationship based upon pain-med prescriptions running out and those in pain turning to street drugs? I ask because that was my impression, but that could be erroneous.

I’d be interested in seeing that scatterplot of the CDC’s state-by-state data.


Amer -Ricca …Love of Riches

Rewards the insane .


Cannabis and Hemp is a start …best turn to mother nature she knows what she’s doing .After all she’s had a few billion years to get it right.

You can’t patent a plant !!!


And then there’s Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy man without guilt who… Oh, forget it.




Glad to see your reply Ditton. If you didn’t, I was going to. First off, there is plenty of warning out there on problem drugs. I have little sympathy for the abusing doctors, crooks, pushers, and careless patients and users.
Once again the chronic pain patients are left out of the conversation. Whenever someone writes about this abuse it seems that the agenda comes no where near talking about the need for these medications including morphine products.
Glad for you Ditton that you are able to continue what works for you. I’m writing on behalf of my wife who has suffered chronic pain for more than two decades.
About ten years ago we found a combination, finally, that worked fairly well to manage the pain that never goes away.
With the new FDA guidelines she is trying to cope on a quarter of the morphine that had been working. What fucking idiot is willing to see these patients suffer so. I comdem them to a hell of equal pain.
My wife, in all these years has not gotten high on her meds, and as Ditton says, it’s dependency not addiction.
Plus the majority of the time migraine headache just to make it more fun.


gandolf, most of us aren’t attacking opiods themselves – they clearly have an important role to play in pain management. What we’re questioning is things like this:


in the last 3 years there’s truth to this, but that actually proves the point. the fatalities are coming from street drugs, particularly analog fentanyl and heroin.

The question remaining is whether or not the pain patients going to the street are actually addicts, and there’s no data on that either way. But one way to look at it is experiential: if you required these medications to live (and most of us that take them, do), you might naturally try to find relief in illegal narcotics. That doesn’t make you an addict per se. It more likely makes you an abandoned patient. So yes, there’s certainly a relationship. But the larger point remains: it wasn’t the prescriptions causing the deaths in either case. And that’s the central claim of the anti-opiate cabal. And it’s flat out false.

There’s much more to this discussion than this medium can do justice, and it can get complex sometimes. But this is about as much as I can do today…:slight_smile: It’s been a horrible day for Mr Spine with this weather.


This has already been debunked. It’s “fake news”. Lawhern and several others tracked the numbers down and found out that the key was the assumption that the town was a self-contained medical unit. It wasn’t. It was a regional provider for a larger rural area. An area, incidentally, heavy in mining disabilities and illnesses.

In short, the medicine wasn’t delivered solely for use by the town. It was for two clinics who worked for a much wider clientele than just that place (pain clinics, like abortion clinics, aren’t always on every corner. People often have to travel). In the end, given how chronic conditions can go through quite a few units of medicine—especially at the lower doses of short term pills–the numbers turned out to be within reasonable limits.


Cannabis is a fine alternative for people with lower grade chronic conditions, like knees, back musculature, and other areas with less pain generation. But there are pain conditions that absolutely destroy the kinds of stuff that MMJ can deal with. One thing we have to remind our friends in the MMJ movement is that their worst pain isn’t always the worst possible pain. That’s been a mistake a lot of physicians have made. An arachnoiditis sufferer will be more than happy to explain the wider range of available human torment.


I already assumed that the commenters on the CommonDreams site were heads up on this topic. As I indicated while we need to address the abuses, we are throwing too many people under the bus of pain.
My beef is with the FDA and CDC in the way they have shit on patients and doctors of good practice Careful prescribers and users.
I have my own history with drugs. Legal, and illegal. Even sold for a while.
The doctors and pushers that sell to people that they don’t know how responsibly they are used, need to be eliminated.