“Big Pharma: Big Money = No Blame.”
In recent days, we’ve heard of settlements and civil suits involving big pharmaceutical companies, the very sources of opioid products like Oxycontin for example, that has left tens of thousands of people gripped the hold of addiction. Similarly, these products have led to tens of thousands of deaths, some 70,000 people annually according to some reports. No man or woman on death row has come even remotely close to this tally, and no corporate execs, no matter his legal liability, has come even close to such a fate.
This is especially vexing when we consider the ravages of the drug war which has fueled mass incarceration for decades. Young men wearing hoodies and baseball caps turned backwards engage in retail sales of untaxed drugs in the ghettos and tenement streets of America.
For this, they were attacked by police and federal agents with all the ferocity of war. In fact, it was a war and people were treated like enemies of the state and cast into prison for decades at least.
Enter big pharma, who launched drugs upon America on an industrial scale and made billions to boot. Consider this simple fact: in one year, more Americans have died from corporate opioid products than the number of Americans who died in Vietnam after 10 years of war.
For retail seller of drugs, decades in prison await. For corporate wholesale drug merchants, civil suits are the state’s responses. Since when is the killing of thousands of people a civil tort?
When we witnessed the parameters of the drug war, we see it had nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with state repression of those people from the ghettos and barrios of America.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
these commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.