The Pharma Companies and Execs Who Fueled the Opioid Crisis Should Face the Same Fate as El Chapo

Summary and Analysis

Ryan Hampton, a nationally known advocate in the recovery movement, a former White House staffer and author of American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — and How to End It, points out the discrepancy in the way we treat the pharmaceutical company executives responsible for contributing to the opioid crisis in comparison to our treatment of illegal drug kingpins. 

He likens the responsible companies to the drug cartels and backs up that comparison with stats. He provides links to recent disclosures including internal company emails and names the companies most directly responsible for flooding the market with "76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills from 2006 to 2012," a number that defies all reason. 

Excerpted from Los Angeles Magazine

prison interior

Earlier this month, El Chapo Guzman, one of the world’s most infamous drug kingpins, was sentenced to life in prison. For decades, El Chapo’s narcotics network smuggled narcotics into the United States through secret tunnels and over border walls. Officials estimate that his organization netted $12.6 billion, a fortune he was ordered to forfeit in his criminal trial.

The very same day as El Chapo’s sentencing, it was reported by The Washington Postthat some of America’s largest drug companies distributed 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills from 2006 to 2012. We have a legal drug cartel in America, and it’s time for pharmaceutical corporations and their executives to face the same consequences as the kingpins.