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Johnson & Johnson Opioid Ruling

 

 

Johnson and Johnson ordered to pay Oklahoma $572 million for opioid damages.

 

Now, this sounds like a lot of money and it is… until you consider that in the early years of the opioid explosion, Duragesic, one of two opioids marketed by J and J, brought in over $500 million way back in 2001.  Let’s assume sales of opioids remained level from that point on. They haven’t but this will make the math easy.   That’s about 20 years of $500 million a year.  It’s more from 2011 on, about $800k per year.  But for easy math, let’s just say $15 billion has been made selling this one version of fentanyl to roughly 1 million people per month.

How it Started:

The conditions under which a drug like this is necessary is intractable chronic pain, that of cancer etc..  The rules of prescribing pain meds 25 years ago were quite restrictive and people in this situation suffered quite a bit.  A relaxing of the rules so that people in serious pain could get some relief was met with approval from the providers caring for people in this situation.

And then….

Unfortunately, with all things mandated to be paid for by a 3rd party, like drugs, college tuition, daycare in Minnesota, somebody’s going to come up with a way to rig the system….. to make a pile of money.

Johnson and Johnson certainly aren’t the only players to have figured out where to concentrate their sales’ team efforts.  There were others but they seem to have been the most savvy. They marketed only to doctors, who wrote 1,000 prescriptions for opioids per year.  They were responsible for the bulk of the market.  They just needed them to switch to J & J’s version, Duragesic.

The Manipulation:

In an even more dastardly plan Johnson & Johnson hired McKinsey and Company, a consulting firm, to increase sales.  They recommended they go after males under 40, since they were more likely to abuse their drug than anyone else.   J & J denied they did this in the Oklahoma court proceedings.

Ultimately, the court found Johnson and Johnson engaged in misleading marketing to maximize benefits and minimize risks.  As a result, 6,000 people died in Oklahoma alone, since the 1990s.    That’s a lot more than those dying from school shootings, heart disease, cancer or just about any other thing you can think of.

Where’s the outrage?  Where’s the protest?  The demands for Congressional action?   “Common sense” prescribing laws?  No more large capacity prescription bottles! ?????

You will just see this briefly reported on the news and then onto the weather.  Just another day in America.  Of COURSE people die from medications.  We expect it.  We do not even seem to be troubled by it.  The point for Oklahoma was for financial reparations.   And to be fair, the opioid prescriptive process HAS been changed.  So, the doctors ARE limited to no large capacity magazines if you will.   You can’t just fill a couple month prescription or endlessly be on opioids anymore.

The forces that brought this catastrophe upon our culture operate largely unphased.  Yes, $572 million is real money.  However, here’s the math in terms we can all understand:

If I had an income of $50,000 per year,

for the last 20 years,

was found to have killed 6,000 people making that $50k a year for 20 years, (that’s $1 million)

and then was fined, say…. $50k and I didn’t have to go to jail??

I’d be happy to pay the $50k!

 

That’s all this is.  The state is shaking down the drug company for some of its money to pay for some of the damage its money-making scheme caused in the state.   We all see it as the cost of doing business.  It’s true in opioids, it’s true in oncology, it’s certainly true in vaccine dogma…. Except those companies NEVER pay a fine.  Which is why there are currently 200 vaccines in development.  All profit, never liability.   Pretty soon all drugs may be called vaccines, just to avoid liability.

The situations that result in the need for opioids are mostly amenable to chiropractic.  Chiropractic however is not part of the insurance reimbursement system that would allow people’s health to recover enough to never need this level of medication.  The people that need this are already out of work due to their health.  Health plans typically pay for 6-10 visits to the chiropractor.  Nobody’s reversing their chronic pain in 2 weeks of going to the chiropractor… I don’t care WHAT exercises people do.

I saw a sign the other day:

“Your body isn’t Amazon.  It doesn’t deliver results in 2 days.”

That’s true!  In all things health, it is repetition over time.

  • If you eat like crap over time, you will pay.
  • If you exercise over time you will reap the benefits.
  • If you go to the chiropractor over time you will be immensely rewarded.

However, insurers are limited time propositions.  They aren’t in it for your health.  They are in it for higher premiums every year.  They NEED you to be sick and dependent on their stream of benefits.  They need you to tell others “Don’t lose your insurance!  Keep paying into the system because you will need it one day.”   That is the gospel truth if you live like our society teaches.  Our society, that has a 1st year infant survival rate near third world countries.  Our society, where if you are born today, you are not expected to live as long as your parents.  Parents who are being sold Long Term Care Insurance, because we EXPECT to be in a flippin’ nursing home!

This isn’t what you were put on planet earth for.  You were put on planet earth to be a blessing to others by doing what only you have been commissioned to do.  With the skills that only you, in the history of planet earth and humanity on it, have been gifted with.  For as long as you can do that.

Accepting the fearful message that you were born “broken” and need pharmaceuticals to live “normally” is tantamount to a cult.  But, we have that in America.  We have a cult of pharmacy.  A cult of disease worship.  Don’t believe me?   Guess who gets paid the most in America.  Those we worship and look up to.  Athletes?  Sure.   Actors?  Yep?   Doctors?   For almost a century one of the highest paid professions.  Right now the highest median income specialty?   It used to be the guys who did surgery for wealthy old white men with cardiovascular diseases and bad knees.  Both cardiovascular surgeons and orthopedic surgeons’ median pay is about $700k   Today however, radiation oncologists are our highest paid.  We fear cancer so much, we pay those people over $1 million per year as a median.

If you listen to Suzy Orman about wealth, she doesn’t recommend you ask poor people how to amass wealth.  So don’t listen to sick people or the people who make money off them, tell you about health.

Whatever they’re doing in the trailer park to try to become wealthy, do the opposite, their people are poor.

Whatever they’re doing at hospitals and WebMD to get people healthy… run away and do the opposite, their people are sick.

Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle.  Not your genes.  (if it was your genes we’d all just eat at Dairy Queen every day.  Some of us will get sick, some won’t.  It’s not our fault.)

Lifestyle is:

Eat healthy most of the time

Exercise most of the time

Sleep with a normal pattern most of the time

Get adjusted regularly, most of the time

THAT will result in the best outcome and most likely, your ability to fulfill your goals, realize your dreams and grow old doing what you want to do –  to the very end.

Sincerely,