Phil Richardson: The number one Killer opioid – Oxycontin

By Phil Richardson

In terms of pain-killing effectiveness and addictive power, according to Patrick Radden Keefe, writing in the October 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker magazine, “Since 1999, two-hundred-thousand Americans have died from overdoses related to Oxycontin and other prescription painkillers. The best seller is the most effective: Oxycontin, a compound perfected by a firm known as Perdue Pharma.

According to the American Society of Addictive Medicine “Finding prescription painkillers too expensive, or too difficult to obtain, even though there has been a proliferation of prescription mills among physicians and pharmacists, many addicts have turned to heroin. Four out of five heroin addicts started out on prescription painkillers.”

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to this stunning statistic: something like a hundred and forty-five Americans DIE EVERY DAY from opioid overdoses. Everyone, including President Trump, talks about doing something about this horrendous situation, but the problem only continuous to be left on the back burner.

In 1995, Perdue Pharma launched Oxycontin with a multifaceted marketing campaign throughout every facet of medicine.

Who is Perdue Pharma? Why hasn’t our Federal Government outlawed the production and sale of Oxycontin?

Well, to start with, Perdue Pharma is totally owned by a family by the name of Sackler. It was founded by three brothers: Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond, all physicians. In 1952, they bought a little patent-medicine company that produced laxatives and earwax remover. It was only when they began to make opioids, did their business explode. Their first bigee was Valium. Soon, profits were in the billions.

The Sacklers have since made families like the Rockefellers and Mellons look like pikers. Ever heard of the Guggeheim, the Louvre, Yale, the Sakler Museum at Harvard and two dozen other philanthropies they support. Levying severe fines and threatening jail sentences—in effect a “death tax” on every opioid pill, may seem unappreciative, but may be the only way to put a curb on this epidemic.


Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller, is a retired broadcast executive residing in Tucson, Arizona. He is the author of three books – “Water Dream,” “The Prosperity Coal Company” and “Miguel: Narcotraficante.” All are available at

“He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself.” – Joseph L. Menchen



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