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Harvard Study: Big Pharma, US Gov. Behind Opioid Epidemic

A new Harvard study reveals how Big Pharma and federal government have colluded to allow the current opioid epidemic in the United States. 

The study, entitled The Opioid Epidemic: Fixing a Broken Pharmaceutical Market, describes how the American public have been duped by the elites for more than 20 years.

“In this article, we argue that non-rigorous patenting standards and ineffectual policing of both fraudulent marketing and anticompetitive actions played an important role in launching and prolonging the opioid epidemic. We further show that these regulatory issues are not unique to prescription opioids but rather are reflective of the wider pharmaceutical market.”

Thefreethoughtproject.com reports: Researchers follow with a primer on the rise of opioid prescriptions and how pain became “the fifth vital sign.” By the 1990s, doctors realized that chronic pain was often ignored, and pain management became a hot topic. Physicians were urged to make greater use of opioids, with experts in the field downplaying the potential for misuse and addiction – a view largely based on experience with morphine.

But this was before OxyContin came along.

Purdue Pharma, recognizing that this newfound view of the medical establishment could be exploited, worked to develop an improved synthetic opioid. Their golden ticket was found with the extended-release oxycodone pill known as OxyContin, patented and approved by the FDA in 1995.

However, Purdue’s exclusive patent was based on corporate fraud and government ignorance.

“Purdue was able to patent extended-release oxycodone in the United States despite the fact that its constituent elements—the active ingredient oxycodone and the controlled-release system Contin—had been developed decades earlier…Oxycodone was used in clinical practice in Germany as early as 1917, and was first introduced in the United States in 1939.”

Purdue’s angle was to develop a controlled-release version of oxycodone, banking on its success with the patented MS Contin for morphine. Here’s where the feds stepped in to help.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) initially rejected Purdue’s patent request for extended-release oxycodone, citing the combination as “obvious.” But Purdue responded with a statistical falsehood – which the company knew was false – and the patent office made an about-face, granting the 20 year patent for OxyContin.

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