Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Remembering Bernhard Goetz and The Great Canadian Pharmaceutical Fraud

Most people here probably don't remember Bernhard Goetz but New Yorkers do. Back in the /70's and /80's the subways in New York City were very dangerous. They were full of violent crime and people would get mugged on them all the time. That's why Curtis Sliwa started a volunteer group to patrol the subways to help stop violent crime. Durring that time Bernhard Goetz shot four muggers on the subway and created quite the public stir.

Some saw him as a hero who finally stood up to crime. Others called him a vigilante. Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels rallied to his support. I'm not saying what Bernhard Goetz did was right or wrong. I'm simply saying that is what New York was dealing with at that time period. Times have changed. New York has evolved. We have not. In many ways we have been left behind and our good intentions are what's holding us back.

Years ago a friend from High school who went to law school in New York came back to visit family and said to me you wouldn't recognize New York any more. They have graffiti proof trains and the crime problem doesn't exist any more. New York is safe now. That was hard for me to imagine. I could not conceive of a graffiti proof train in New York nor could I imagine a New York without violent crime. That's what New York was when I was there.

That miraculous transformation is what everyone refers to as the New York model. Most people attribute the success of the New York model to Mayor Giuliani but it really started before that with Mayor David Dinkins. Giuliani delivered the second crucial blow of enforcement that followed up Dinkins committee to investigate police corruption which as we later found out was rampant.

In New York they confronted crack cocaine they didn't promote it. What we are doing is wrong and is the reason the New York model has left us behind. The reason why we are trapped in the vice of harm promotion is because of the Pharmaceutical fraud that engulfs us.

In today's federal budget mention was made of the skyrocketing cost of medication. There is one simple reason for that. The government lets the pharmaceutical companies maintaining rigid drug patents so they can keep jacking the price up as much as they want. That is extortion. We need to promote generic drugs. That is why Barry Sherman and his wife were murdered. He helped provide Canadians with affordable medicine.

The New York Times reported that Daraprim went from $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight. Chemotherapy That Costs $70,000 in the U.S. Costs $2,500 in India.

In 2015 Global reported that "a Canadian drug company bought the rights to two life-saving heart medications. That very day, the price of those drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress, increased by 525 per cent and 212 per cent, respectively." In 2017 Barry Sherman and his wife were murdered.

With regards to harm promotion, let's look at the methadone fraud. I have a source that claims any inmate can get a prescription of up to 200 milligrams of methadone. 30 milligrams is a lot. 200 milligrams is over the top. In support of that claim, the Vice is reporting that "the amount of methadone being prescribed to our country's inmates has gotten out of control."

My source claims the prisons are getting kickbacks from the methadone prescriptions which comes as no surprise since kickbacks are just a part of doing business in that tax paid industry. CTV reported that "A CTV News hidden-camera investigation has uncovered what appears to be a kickback scheme involving pharmacists and drug-recovery houses in B.C."

If we sincerely want to reduce the amount of fentanyl deaths in BC then we need to address the pharmaceutical fraud that is causing them. Then we need to start enforcing the law.

1 comment:

  1. Did wonder when you were going to write about the murder of the Shermans. As soon as it was reported on t.v. as perhaps a suicide, my thoughts were, in your dreams Toronto police dept. Its a hit and a very expensive one. If you read anything about Sherman you will know he was an incredibly hard nosed business man, who on a couple of occasions was able to negotiate generic drugs for which the patent ending was still two years away. His being a staunch supporter of Trudeau was also worrisome I am sure for some in the drug industry.

    it was Mulroney who expanded the "gift" of patent exclusivity to drug companies. Trudeau will most likely take it away and killing the Shermans, in my opinion, was a message and a method of putting a spoke in the wheels of the plan.

    A few years ago, it was determined if we had a national pharmacy program, the country would save $2B a year. that wouldn't make drug companies happy.

    A lot of these drugs are cheap to produce but companies hold them to high prices so their stock will remain high. Most corporate executives are paid a salary and part of that is in stock. The higher the stock, the higher your salary.

    It is doubtful they will ever find out who really is responsible for the murders of the Shermans. It may even delay the implementation of a new drug plan in Canada, but it will come, especially if NAFTA collapses.

    It would be so nice is all Canadians could afford to purchase their drugs for their illnesses.


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