Drug dealers charged with murder? How about Big Pharma?


For decades Big Pharma has been flooding the market with highly addictive opioids with phony literature and sales pitches to doctors saying there is no danger. When in fact they knew otherwise but the money was too good.

As originally reported in the Charleston-Gazette Mail, 10’s of millions of pills were sent to a tiny town for eventual distribution.


Of course this is old news. And some drug companies are being sued by states to pay for the enormous cost of this crisis. And as the DEA is tightening regulations for prescription opioids, the heroin and subsequent fentanyl supplies from China are filling the gap and killing American by the thousands.

I think Big Pharma and it’s distributors are responsible. Perhaps a few executives on trial for murder would be appropriate.

Of course the protection accorded corporations and their management is pretty solid. And often for good reasons. But running a deadly criminal enterprise should not go unchallenged. And big fines are no big deal. Shareholders end up holding the bag. Prison time is a greater deterrent.

Although the convicts would still live in a “gated community”, the golf courses are not as nice.


One thought on “Drug dealers charged with murder? How about Big Pharma?

  1. The argument that legal drug companies should be prosecuted for murder under the same set of considerations as illicit drug dealers is seductive, but it is also radical, even revolutionary in a Marxist sense. It suggests that the regulatory state is somehow illegitimate or irrelevant. It creates “haves” of which the “have nots” should be rightfully skeptical.

    One could extend the principle to include, say, linoleum manufacturers whose products infuse crawling infants with life-altering chemicals, or auto makers whose cars are insufficiently safe according to any criteria you can think of.

    An extreme variation of the same argument might be to make all drugs legal, eliminating the regulatory state altogether, right along with the market-distorting effects of prohibition.

    But I think that expounding the issue in this way helps to illustrate one of the virtues of the regulatory state. Public safety is only part of it. More fundamentally, regulation creates a “safe space” for commercial innovation.

    For example, if the local dope peddler kills your daughter with a fatal concoction, you might be inclined to raise a lynch mob against him. Few might aspire to become chemists without the protections from lynching that licensing allows.

    Regulatory burdens create problems of their own, but it is precisely the distinction between allowable and unallowable activities which lowers risk in the pursuit of collectively beneficial work.

    I wouldn’t prosecute big pharma for murder. We need more pharmaceutical innovation and discovery, not less.


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