There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 10:00
Part Two: The Sackler Family: America's Deadliest Drug Dealers
Hey, I'm dua Lipa and I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast Dua Lipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The one you feed explores how to build a fulfilling life, admits the challenges we face. We share manageable steps to living with more joy and less fear through guidance on emotional resilience, transformational habits, and personal growth. I'm your host, Eric Zimmer, and I speak with experts ranging from psychologists to spiritual teachers, offering powerful lessons to apply daily. Create the life you want. Now listen to the one you feed on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. We're back. I'm Robert Evans podcast behind the ********. Bad people talk about them. This is part two of our episode on the Sacklers, so you should have listened to the first one by now, and this intro shouldn't seem out of place if you haven't. What the Hell's going on, weirdo? Like, listen, listen to the episodes in the right order. Now. This is not memento. Yeah, this is behind the ********. And this is. And by this I mean you, James Heaney. Ohh, yes. Actor, comedian, Street fighting champion. Well, I never won, but I've been in a Street Fighter two. And you get the plugs in the P zone. I'm in alchemy this yes. It airs every Tuesday and Thursday. It's improv show. We get suggestions from the audience emails. And it's with Kevin Pollak that Kevin Pollack. We have a live show May 7th at the Dynasty typewriter theater in downtown LA. I really hope you're there. You specifically. Me specifically. I might be, I might be in another state. Was actually talking to you specifically to the listener, to the listener specific? Yes. I mean, you're welcome to come, but I'm not going to. Nervous seat for you. I've, I've stated my desire that listeners gang up on the on the venue and force their way in a mighty surge when you talk human ways. The weapons was probably maybe too far. Well, OK, but think about think about it this way. Remember escape from New York? Pretty, pretty cool movie. Sure. Pretty fun movie. Yeah. You remember the sequel in LA when he has to shoot the basketballs or he gets murdered? Yeah. Also a pretty cool movie. Yeah, I guess you're right. Yeah, exactly. What if that was a comedy show? Yeah, it would be. That it would be like that. It also reminds me of people were invading the theater to see the show live, armed. They'd be prepared if it happened here. If it happened here. Because it's my other podcast. Yeah. Is that it? It could. Now let's let's move off from that depressing topic to a different, depressing topic. The origins of our nightmarish opiate crisis. We've been talking about, of course, the Sackler family, which, you know most of these Sackler men are and were, of course, doctors, you know, from Arthur down to Richard. But they're real talent, and passion seems to have been for marketing rather than medicine. When Oxycontin first went on to the market, produced sales force was around 300 people. By the end of Millennium it had doubled to more than 600 people, equal to the number of DEA agents fighting the abuse of prescription drugs. That is most likely a coincidence. But that sales force was absolutely critical to Oxycontin's commercial success and to the opiate epidemic currently burning its way through the American heartland. I found a great study on this published in the US National Library of Medicine, titled the Promotion and Marketing of Oxycontin, Commercial Triumph Public Health Tragedy. It lays out exactly how Purdue Pharmaceutical, at the direction of Richard Sackler, President and Co, chairman of the board, for the company's quote. From 1996 to 2001 Purdue conducted more than 40 national pain management and speaker training conferences at Resorts in Florida, Arizona and California. More than 5000 physicians, pharmacists and nurses attended these all expenses paid symposia where they were recruited and trained for Purdue's National Speaker Bureau. It is well documented that this kind of pharmaceutical company symposium influences physicians prescribing even though the physicians who attend such symposia believe that such enticements do not alter their prescribing patterns. One of the cornerstones of produce marketing plan was the use of sophisticated marketing data. To influence physicians prescribing drug companies compile prescriber profiles and individual physicians, detailing the prescribing patterns of physicians nationwide in an effort to influence doctors prescribing habits. Through these profiles, a drug company can identify the highest and lowest prescribers of particular drugs in a single ZIP code, county, state, or the entire country. One of the critical foundations of produce marketing plan for Oxycontin was to target the physicians who were highest prescribers for opioids across the country. Another name for these guys would be pill mill. Pill mill. That's what you've heard. Purdue Pharmaceuticals stated plan was to essentially make pill mills happen by finding the doctors who were most willing to just give anyone a prescription for opiates and then essentially giving them more money having them speak at events and flying them. The Nice conferences high level marketing thing does, it does kind of sound like that. Kind of sounds like, oh you're really good at selling these, why don't you go speak to other people and get them to sell it? You'll get a little cut of that. Yeah, that is kind of what was going on. There's a pre trial memo from a case in Massachusetts that's ongoing this year and it includes a quote from one of the promotional videos that Purdue mailed to thousands of doctors. Quote, there's no question that our best, strongest pain medications are the opioids, but these are the same drugs that have a reputation for causing addiction and other terrible things. Now in fact, the rate of addiction amongst pain patients who are treated by doctors is much less than 1%. They don't wear out, they go on working, they do not have serious medical side effects. What year was that? That would have been like 1999? OK. I mean, I don't want to give him like it's it's it's terrible, but it is only four years in before the whole crisis is out of control. It is, but it's also why the Christ. It's also why the crisis there. You're right. Yeah, totally right. As one sales Rep later told a reporter quote, we were directed to lie. Why mince words about it? Greed took hold and overruled everything. They saw that potential for billions of dollars and just went after it. Shaun Thatcher was a produce sales Rep from 2009 to 2015. He went into more detail on this when he was deposed. Court quote high decile prescribers were those who prescribed more, produced drugs or, because of their prescribing of other opioids, were potentially high prescribers. They were priority targets for the sales team salesman and women were paid lavish bonuses for increasing Oxycontin sales in their territories. In 2001, annual bonuses for sales averaged $71,500. Purdue paid more than $40 million that year to salesman, who managed to convince doctors to prescribe more Oxycontin. From 1996 to 2000, Purdue increased its physician call list from between 33. 45,000 to between 70 and 94,000 doctors. So they're just selling this **** to doctors as hard as they can. When did those people need a degree and have to know anything about the the salespeople? Yeah, under no circumstances. Why would you? Why would they need to know anything about? That's probably the less the better. Yeah, the less the better, the better you get it. You don't have any ******** in your head about helping people without doing no harm. You haven't had proxy signed that Hippocratic Oath. That's good practice, the Hippocratic Oath. You don't want anybody who's who knows what that is selling pills for you. Now, one method that Purdue had to convince doctors to be frequent prescribers was their coupon program. They would give doctors free limited time prescription coupons for their patients who are first time users. These coupons were generally good for a 7 to 30 day supply of Oxycontin. Now, if your school was anything like mine, you remember teachers worriedly telling you that drug dealers would regularly give out free pot or heroin or whatever. Never, never once. I mean, that's what I was told is like, yeah, they give you free stuff to get you addicted and then they start charging you. I've never seen a drug dealer. Give away free drugs like that. Not once have I ever been like, head to someone. Be like, here's some free heroin, man. Come back to me if you like it like that. Yeah, but at the same time, they were probably teaching people that would grow up to be sales people. Exactly. Because that's that. That's where it actually was done the business. Yeah, that's Purdue actually did the thing that, like, we joke about our teachers telling US drug dealers did that. They obviously didn't. It's ******* nuts. The company gave out more than 34,000 coupons by the time they ended the program in 2001. At that point, Oxycontin. Did not need any more help spreading. Doctors were also bribed with lamer gifts. Oxycontin, fishing hats, stuffed animals, and CD's with titles like get in the swing with walk with Oxycontin. I'm guessing it was swing music. He probably. How embarrassing would it be for like you to be out with your family, with your dad wearing Oxycontin hat? We're like, oh Dad, come on. Going on the family road trip and popping in an Oxycontin ska album. Real addicted fish figure. Mighty, mighty addicts. I don't know. I can't figure out. Mighty, mighty Bosstones one we'll we'll we'll workshop it. According to the DEA, no one had ever done this before with a Schedule 2 opioid. Perhaps there is a reason for that. Purdue sales people were also heavily targeted. Primary care doctors but 2003, almost half of the doctors prescribing Oxycontin were primary care physicians. The National Institutes of Health explains why this was an issue. Quote some experts were concerned that primary care physicians were not sufficiently trained in pain management or addiction issues. Primary care physicians, particularly in a managed care environment of time constraints, also had the least amount of time for evaluation and follow-up of patients with complicated chronic pain. So they specifically targeted the kinds of doctors who didn't have training in prescribing opiates and weren't likely to check back in with patients. To make sure that they hadn't developed a problem. As a result, primary care doctors kept prescribing and people kept getting addicted. Good strategy for product go to the dummy doctors. Go to the doctors. You don't know what or who you know, like that's just not what they're supposed to do. Like, before Purdue, primary care physicians weren't handing out a lot of opiate prescriptions. No, I'm not a I don't know a lot about doctors, but isn't a primary care physician the doctor you go to most regularly? Unless something is? Yeah, unless something. Exactly. And you used to only get something like Oxycontin? If something was really wrong, wouldn't you? I think that those doctors would have some more investment in a person that they hopefully know like you are returning to this person and they're going to have to see this person deteriorate over time. I don't know that you are because I think a lot of people don't have. I think a lot of these are like doctors at clinics and stuff. And so you don't have, you know, if you don't have health care you probably not going on a super regular basis or even if you do like I have since I was a kid was the last time, I I don't want to say what the last time I've been to the doctor, but it's been more than 10 years. Yeah, I have. I have texted some fans who were doctors. Questions in the past, and that's like my health care plan. Yeah. I've always thought primary care was like, oh, that's your doctor. Like, go find what doctor you want, you go back to that and that's your primary care doctor. I think that's what it is for some people. But I think for a lot of people it's just like the doctor at the the doc in the box clinic, you know, they see you if you've got a problem and they're not going to check back in because it's not their job. Before Purdue, most opioids were prescribed on a long term basis, were used for what's called malignant pain, which is essentially like what cancer patients are going through pain that is the result of a deadly and ongoing. Illness Purdue aggressively pursued the idea that opiate should be for any kind of pain, especially chronic pain. By 1999 the non cancer pain related market had grown to be 86% of the opioid market. Purdue Company training emphasized to salespeople at the risk of addiction with Oxycontin was less than 1%. This was based on two large studies that found addiction to opioids was not common with people who were prescribed them after serious injuries like a burn. None of the research Purdue based their less than 1% stat on was done on people who were actually given opioids for chronic pain. We know now that the rate. Be as high as 50%. So 50%, yeah. They made the claim that like it it it's not addictive based on like, someone would come in with like a serious injury and they'd get like, OK, well, we'll give you a month or two of Oxy to deal with this. Most of those people didn't get addicted, so they were like, see, it's not addictive, but if you're giving it for chronic pain, it's incredibly easy to get addicted. But they weren't. Correct me if I'm wrong, because 100 and you're saying 50%, people get addicted to that. With chronic, depending on the types of chronic pain, the rate of addiction can be as high as 50%. I would expect that maybe addiction. To the point of abuse and throwing your life away 50%. But wouldn't anybody like physically simply become addicted because it chemical you're doesn't your body assimilate to any chemical it puts in there? Like it's not necessarily so addiction is pretty complicated and a lot of it has to do with the circumstances of your life. So generally like you're less likely to get addicted if you're like reasonably happy if you're OK with like your situation. So like an injury like a burn or something that hurts for a little while you might just use the painkillers until the pain stops and you're. In unless like, but if you're in a chronic pain situation, cause like depression is so common with chronic pain. Like those people are more likely to have other stuff that like it makes them more vulnerable to to, to being addicted to. Because a lot of it is social. Like a lot of it has to do with what's going on in your life. It's why the rates of addiction out in the country where there's not much going on is so much higher. It's the same reason why the rate of alcoholism and like Alaska is through the roof. It's because like there's a lot of isolated people who don't have much else to do. So I think it probably has a lot to do with that. I've just thought that no matter what, if you took some drug to get rid of pain and you took it for a long period of time, your body assimilates to having that drug. Yeah. To not have pain. So is that not in itself? Oh, it is. But these people like the the studies where they said it wasn't addictive were based on people who just were taking for a short time. You have a burn. You're not taking it for months for a burn usually or even like a broken, you know, bone or something. Like it's it's just to get you through the worst part of it and then you stop. OK. Then I I was drawing a conclusion. For some reason, I thought we were talking about the chronic pain. No, no, no. Chronic pain. It's super easy to get addicted to painkillers if they're prescribed for chronic pain. Sean Thatcher, that sales Rep I quoted earlier, also alleged that he and his fellow salespeople were urged to use the term pseudo addiction rather than addiction when talking about the risk of people getting addicted to Oxycontin in order to make it seem less of a problem. By the early 2000s, it was clear that these strategies worked, so Purdue kicked it into high gear. They bribed every single level of the distribution chain, and they did it legally. In addition to the free drug coupons for users, Purdue gave wholesalers rebates for keeping Oxycontin off their prior authorization lists. These are lists. Healthcare companies keep of drugs and medical devices that require extra approval. Before dispensation, Purdue also bribed pharmacists by giving them free refunds for their first orders. Medical researchers got grants, presumably to keep showing that Oxycontin wasn't addictive. Purdue also spent 1,000,000 advertising in medical journals and here's one example you can see. Should I describe this? So it's a picture walking upstairs? Take the next step and pain relief. Well, that makes sense. The person's going up the stairs. Oxycontin? Some letters that I don't associate with anything. And rapid onset of I don't know that word for six months. One to start and stay with. Easy to dose, easy to tirate titrate. Yeah, I know that word. Titrate. I use it all the time. I was just titrating to see this. Clearly I had to hold it further away from my face. So one to start and stay with, it sounds like Pringle to start. Once you pop, you just can't stop. Yeah, it it is. There's kind of a little bit of like, like sinister in there, like 1 to start and stay with. Yeah, take the next step and pain relief. The intentions with this was never for chronic pain. But that seems like it's targeted to chronic. Oh no. That's what they were trying to sell it for. It just doesn't work well for that just doesn't work. It's going to be addictive. Yeah. It's going to be addictive. And it's not going to, like, deal with the problem like that. One of the things that they found, particularly recently is that it's just a bad idea to give people opiates for chronic pain, like they're for acute pain and therefore people who are dealing with like, you know, malignant pain. And we're not going to solve all the problems today, but what is the better option? Chronic pain. I mean, usually a combination of, like, physical therapy. There are some lighter sort of painkillers that can help a lot of people do find relief with stuff like marijuana. Yeah. But like, if you're some of it is like just dealing with a higher level of pain, which sucks, but it has to deal with pain. But it's better than a life of being addicted. Exactly. It's better and healthier than that. And, like, you can have, you know, sometimes you use medication for help sleeping and stuff, but like prescribing someone Oxycontin because they've got chronic back pain, it just gets a lot of people killed. Yeah. Yeah. And it stops them from healing in some cases. Some of these things people can get better from, but, like, and they they just instead just do a lot of oxy. So Purdue and the Sackler family also made certain to donate piles and piles of cash to senators and Congress people and important committees. The company itself was fairly bipartisan, but Richard Sackler preferred to donate to Republicans. We'll talk a little bit more about his donations later. So the bribery, or legally distinct from bribery, occurred on every possible level. But Purdue lavished most of its attention on doctors. Here's Esquire again, quote. We used to fly doctors to these seminars, said Sherman, which were in practice just golf trips to Pebble Beach. It was graft, though offering perks and freebies to doctors was hardly uncommon in the industry. It was unprecedented in the marketing of a Schedule 2 narcotic. For some physicians, the junkets to sunny locales weren't enough to persuade them to prescribe. To entice the holdouts, that group the company referred to internally as problem doctors, the reps would dangle the lure of Purdue's lucrative Speakers Bureau. Everyone was automatically approved, said Sherman. We would set up these little dinners and they'd make their 15 minute talk and they'd get $500. That's not bribery because reasons. Wait, because reasons? Because reasons. It sounds like they're giving a speech. It's not bribery, but the loophole is, yeah, the speech is doing some sort of work. Exactly. It's it's yeah, it's super shady. Speaking of things that are shaped, no, that's not a good way to pivot into the ad. Sophie, I'm tail spinning here. What do we what do we we gotta, we gotta, we gotta put some daylight in between that whenever I need to be saved. I do commercial work. Ohd commercial actor. Ohh yeah, well, could you do a commercial for something on this table? Maybe you're going to be surprised how well, I can change my voice. Maybe this halls triple soothing action mints, huh? Yeah, sure, yeah, halls. Sometimes just the name. Yeah, that was that was great. Yeah. Is that not is that yeah, I'm ready to buy some halls. Sophie, can we order 1000 of these you at the listener, Order 1000 halls and also order 1000 of whatever products are advertised, unless it's, again, Oxycontin, which I hope is not being advertised on this podcast. Although if if they do, I want some free oxy, Sophie, can we can we set that up? We can't set that up. That would be a huge conflict of interest products. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. Just December. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. A story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. The story about the man who's simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I wanna vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at jbl.com. This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about? I should have asked you if you'd like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. Ohh boy, those were great products. I threw my money at the microphone, but nothing came out. I know. I know you did. You did. You have to throw your money harder. Well, it's quarters. I figured I'd have to throw it hard. I recommend everyone throw their money at whatever is nearest to them. It will. Very hungover. Let's just let's just talk more about the ******* sack, all right? Purdue and the Sacklers face no consequences for any of their malfeasance until 2007, when the state of Virginia sued their ***** for Misbranding Oxycontin in legalese. Misbranding is a wide term that includes outright lying about a medication strength and addictiveness. 3 company executives pled guilty to misleading regulators in a public statement. Purdue said this quote nearly six years and longer ago. Some employees made or told other employees to make certain statements about Oxycontin. Some health care professionals that were inconsistent with the FDA approved prescribing information for Oxycontin and the express warnings it contained about risks associated with the medicine. The statements also violated written company policies requiring adherence to the prescribing information. We accept responsibility for those past misstatements and regret that they were made. Sounds pretty good. Oh yeah. Of course, if they were, they regret it. They. Yeah. And they accept responsibility. So I'm sure that there's going to be paying back and covering medical bills, right? I mean, there there was actually some of that we'll get into what kind of payback they had to give. The Sacklers were not forced to take responsibility, however. So this is just, I guess I misunderstood that. No, this is just Purdue. And in fact, they explicitly none of the Sacklers were were implicated, especially not Richard Sackler, former CEO of the company and Co chairman of the board. Now, according to Pro Publica quote, Friedman, who by then had risen to chief executive officer, was one of three Purdue executives who pled guilty to a misdemeanor of misbranding Oxycontin. No members of the Sackler family were charged or named as part of the plea agreement. The Massachusetts lawsuit alleges that Sackler controlled Purdue board voted that the three executives, but no family members, should plead guilty as individuals. After the case concluded, the Sacklers were concerned about maintaining the allegiance of Friedman and the other executives. According to the Massachusetts lawsuit, to protect the family, Purdue paid the two executives at least $8 million. That lawsuit alleges. So they did the mob thing. They had three of their three of their made men go to like, I mean they didn't actually go to jail, but like they got like 2 1/2 years probation and they got community service. So they had three of their guys who weren't members of the family give themselves up and then they bribe them millions of dollars. And in theory, there's two things I want to mention. First of all, when you call it Miss branding, it sounds like you're describing fraud. I don't understand the difference. I think the difference is that they're lawyers preferred the term. I think misbranding is like the legal. Obviously I would want to really prefer the fraud is too frauds, much nicer than misbranding and ask me second question would be. I don't remember. So I guess we'll just leave it that way. It's it's it's yeah, it's frustrating. Documents revealed that during the trial showed that that's what it was. So they sent their employees to go to jail. Yeah, right. Well, they didn't go to jail, but since they they they they pled guilty. Not the way that shell companies do work. It's the way the mob work, the way the mob works. Yeah, it's exactly. It's exactly what happens you're and then you just open up a new company or you have new people that start taking charge of these things. And it's really shady because like one of the things they said is that, well, no, Sackler was a had a direct position at the company since 2003, I think it was. And that's or through. Yeah. Like that's when or after 2007 and like basically Richard Sackler ran the company until they got into legal trouble and then they promoted this guy Freedman to CEO, and Richard stepped back and was just on the board. But the majority of Purdue's board has always been Sackler family members, even though they were claiming so they could say that like, well, none of them work for the company. That's because they're running it and getting all of the profits from the company. Yeah, it's very, very shady. It's structured like a criminal enterprise, but is legally distinct from one because they have more lawyers than mafia Dons. Yeah, which is hard to do too, which is that they do have a lot of lawyers. Yeah. In 2016, fifty 3000 Americans died from opioid overdoses 53,053. 1000 for comparison, only 35,000 Americans died from gun violence. For more comparison, that is roughly the same number of Americans dying in one year as died throughout the duration of the war in Vietnam. Wow, yeah, 2016. Just 2016. Chris Christie, head of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, recently noted that opiates kill roughly 142 Americans per day, which he noted was a September 11th every three weeks. Not normally a Chris Christie guy, but that's a good comparison. It's very rare that I'm a Christian, and in fact, I have refused to be Chris Christie guy even now. He did happen to accident. He made one good .1 good point. He made one good point, and that's a good point. Since 1999, more than 200,000 Americans are believed to have died from overdosing on prescription pain medication. That is roughly half of the number of Americans who died fighting in the Second World War. Wow. Yeah. As part of that 2007 plea agreement, Purdue Pharmaceuticals was forced to pay more than $600 million in fines, which is simultaneously one of the largest. Which finds ever leveled on a company and a slap on the wrist. You want to guess what produced total profits for Oxycontin are? I was just going to say it's gotta be over multiple billions, right? Multiple billions is one way to put it. It's at least $35 billion. Yeah, $600 million. Doesn't sound like much of a fine. Does not know it's a drop in a bucket. It's a drop in a bucket. No members of the Sackler family admitted to any wrongdoing, but they and the company's board were all forced to pinky swear that the company would not break the law again. So that's something, right? You know? I feel like we can trust. Well, it depends on whether or not they're gonna not break the law again. Well, let's read the next it's a good start. The plea agreement also included a non prosecution agreement similar to the one Jeffrey Epstein signed. It basically made the Sacklers and company executives immune to any new criminal litigation based on activity that occurred before 2007. Since none of the Sacklers have been executives at Purdue since that point, it's likely they are pretty safe from the possible consequences for their crimes. Or at least that was the plan. ********. It's really frustrating, right? Insane really ****** you off. Yeah. Speaking of their crimes, the Sackler family has done extraordinarily well off of Oxycontin. Before the drug, they were just multimillionaires. Now their family is worth an estimated $14 billion, perhaps much, much more. Forbes put them on its list of America's richest families in 2015, a sign of how quickly they rose with the help of America's deadliest drug. We have mostly focused on Richard Sackler in this episode, and he is the man morally most culpable. But Sackler family members made-up the majority of Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Board for the entirety of the time, we've discussed the Sacklers as a family run the company, and they are notoriously tight lipped about the source of their wealth. During his 11 hour deposition in Kentucky in 2017, Richard Sackler said, quote I don't know, more than 100 times he failed to recall exactly how much money his family had netted from the drug. He confirmed it was more than a billion and said I don't think so when asked if it was more than 10 billion. While the Sacklers got unspeakably rich off Oxycontin, the United States as a nation has suffered greatly, according to the. American Public Health Association in 2013, the economic impact of opioid use totaled around $80 billion, and that was in 2013, before the opiate crisis hit its peak. A 2019 paper by Princeton economist Alan Krueger suggests that opioid addiction is responsible for fully 20% of the decline in labor force participation from 1999 to 2015. It is unlikely that the full extent of the damage caused by the Sacklers and Purdue pharmaceutical will ever be known. Cool. Did they create the hunger for a world of fentanyl? Yeah. Ohh, 100% I don't. I don't see a world with fentanyl. It wasn't for them. It would exist. Putting down the red carpet of the oxy cotton. I think if if Oxycontin hadn't existed, our problems with fentanyl would be veterans who got injured in the field and prescribed fentanyl maybe continually like with Vietnam and morphine and stuff. Like, I think that would have still been a problem because it's like, you know, you lose a leg to a car bomb or whatever and they give you a fit in the lollipop and they shoot you full of it for weeks and then you come home and you're addicted. But I don't think whole towns would be being wiped out in the in the Midwest and the Northeast and the rural America would be suffering the way it is. I think that's all on I think, the hunger for fentanyl and the. The US consumes something like 90% of the world's painkillers. Like, we're not 90% of the world. Like there's not many of us actually percent of the world's pain. Yeah, yeah, like, it's incredible. It's it's just incredible. Near the end of the deposition, a lawyer for the state of Kentucky asked Richard Sackler, this sitting here today, after all you've come to learn as a witness, do you believe that produce conduct and marketing and promoting Oxycontin in Kentucky caused any of the prescription of drug addiction problems now plaguing the Commonwealth? Sackler's response was, I don't believe so. Shockingly, there's still more to say. Because in 2019. A bunch of information from several depositions was finally released under the public record after a years long fight by Purdue to keep it hidden. Among other things, this information revealed that Co chairman Richard Sackler continued to have a major role in pushing Oxycontin sales after 2007. According to Stat News quote. In 2011, he decided to shadow sales reps for a week to make sure his orders were followed, the complaint states. Russell Gasdia, then the company's vice president of sales and marketing, who is also a defendant in the Massachusetts lawsuit, went to produce chief compliance officer to warn that if Sackler directly promoted opioids, it was a potential. Compliance risk, lol, the compliance officer replied, according to the complaint. Other staff raised concerns, but they ultimately said that Richard needs to be mom and anonymous when he went to the field. So Richard was going into the field following sales reps around to find make sure they were pushing Oxycontin enough in 2011, four years after the lawsuit. Four years after the loss, four years after his company was sued for sake, he just kept on pushing that box. He was brave. He was addicted to the money as America was to Oxy. I'd like to see him have to take some, I don't know, crocodile tears and then take it away from him. Yeah, yeah, I'd like, I think. I think with people like this, you should just take away all their money and make them live like normal people in an apartment. Well, also get addicted. I wouldn't wish that on anybody, but I feel like you reap what yourself I feel like in this case, yeah, forced addiction to an opiate might be might be fair for Richard Sackler. Give me a little taste of his own medicine. Literally Speaking of tasting your own medicine. I've been eating halls again. I don't know if you can smell it all the way over there. It's my favorite. It sounds triple soothing. What if I was to tell you I had $1.75 for a bus ride to Venice Beach and I could give you $500.00 to give speeches if you sold thousands of halls? Thousands of halls? You mean. You mean sell them to my readers? Tell them about the mental cost suppressant. Oral. I don't care who you give these halls to, but if you can get rid of a bunch of them, you're my God. I got to create a halls. Free trip to Venice on a bus, on a bus. By some halls. And you're not as good a commercial actor as I'm not. I'm not, I would not be able to eat if this were my job products. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. Just December. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. A story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. The story about the man who simply become known as La Monstre. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I wanna vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at jbl.com. This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about or? I should have asked you like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. So if you, Sophie approves of that. In 2009, it produced sales manager wrote a warning letter to a company executive stating that he had found Purdue employees were pushing opioids on an illegal pill mill. He asked. I feel very certain this is an organized drug ring. Shouldn't the DEA be contacted about this? Purdue took no action for two years. Why would they? So far, rampant dishonesty had netted them 10s of billions of dollars in profits and one tiny fine. Now I feel like we should probably end by talking just a bit about how the Sackler family decided to spend their vast wealth. They've donated much of it to museums like the Guggenheim. In the Tate and the Louvre in the mid aughts, before any of this was public knowledge. Their generosity granted the sackers, or reputation as high minded philanthropists. But they did not only donate to museums. I'd like to quote from sludge now, a website that specializes in revealing gross donations made to shady organizations by terrible people. Quote from 2014 to 16, the Richard and Beth Sackler Foundation donated 7. The $700.00 to the Middle East Forum, in addition to 150 in 2009. Middle East Forum is at the center of an Islamophobia network, according to the Center for American Progress. The Forum promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats and protects the freedoms of anti Islamist authors. According to its website, the Middle Eastern Forum funded anti Muslim rallies in London and including some rallies for a guy named Tommy Robinson, who is essentially a Nazi, like like literal Nazi Tommy Robinson. The Middle East Forum funded him to do rallies and live and stuff and continue being a Nazi. And they got a lot of money from the Sackler family. The founder of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, gave a speech in 2017 in which he said, quote, Muslim immigrants want to replace existing European civilization with Islam. You may recognize this sentiment as essentially the same thing that the Christchurch shooter wrote out in a 73 page manifesto before murdering 50 people in a mosque. Again, Daniel Pipes received money from Richard and Beth Sackler. The Sacklers also gave money to Steven Emerson, founder of the investigative Project on Terrorism. And that role Emerson has claimed that Islam, quote, sanctions genocide, planned genocide as part of its religious doctrine. He has submitted fake FBI documents to news outlets in order to claim that American Muslim organizations are actually terrorist groups. In 2015, the Richard and Beth Sackler Foundation gave $15,000 to an Islamophobic group called Jihad Watch. That same year, they also gave 11,500 to the American Defense Initiative, formerly known as Stop Islamization of America. These are just public donations. Hate groups tend to receive most of their funding from donor advised funds, which are public charities that basically funnel money from anonymous rich people into groups that they don't want people to know they're donating to. So we know on paper that the Sacklers have donated 10s of thousands of dollars to hate and hate adjacent groups. The real number of their donations may be much higher, and in fact, probably is this. What's terrible is they're putting all this money to hate groups and anti Muslim groups. But when you look at it, and I'm not an expert, I don't know the numbers, but I'd bet money right here, right now that more people have died from Oxycontin than terror. Oh yeah, I mean, more people die from Oxycontin in a day than have died from. More Americans die from. Second, in a day than have been killed by all of ISIS, and more total people have been killed by Oxycontin than ISIS has killed, even in Iraq and Syria. Not that they haven't killed a lot of people, but like ******* oxycontins killed way more like, it's a lot to me. I'm not afraid of terrorism because it's not, it's terrorized. It's a pretty niche risk. Whereas I know people who have had horrible pill problems. I am so afraid for my nieces and nephews. I don't think they would ever do it, but that's what I'm afraid of. That's that strikes fear into me. It's more of a threat. Yeah. Way more of a threat, yeah. Oh, I should also note that the Richard and Beth Sackler Foundation donated money to true the vote in 2016. That is the voter fraud watchdog. That was the source of Donald Trump's claim that 3,000,000 illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 elections. So they gave money to those guys too. Now, the good news, and there is at least a little bit of good news, is that all of the recent press about the rampant crimes of Purdue with the direction of the Sackler family has led to a number of their favorite foundations and museums to stop accepting their donations. Some of this is due to a protest at the Guggenheim. Earlier this year, activists dumped like a, you know, comment Richard Sackler made about, like, a Blizzard of prescriptions. So a bunch of activists went to the Guggenheim and dropped, like, a literal Blizzard of prescription papers and, like, the central foyer down, like, a couple of stairs and stuff. And, you know, the Guggenheim announced that they would not be taking any more Sackler money and the Tate. Yeah, it's good. Good. Yeah. The tape made the same thing. Britain's National Portrait Gallery canceled reception of a $1.3 million donation from the family. So, like, these people are so toxic that charities are turning down their money now. Although probably not the racist ones, probably not the racist ones. Additional lawsuits have begun to stack up against Purdue Pharmaceuticals, some targeting the Sacklers themselves for their involvement in company crimes after 2007. Last March, Purdue and the Sacklers agreed to pay $270,000,000 to the state of Oklahoma. $75 million of that will come directly from the Sackler family. The suit in Massachusetts is still ongoing, and last March another lawsuit was filed in the state of New York. This lawsuit also rests heavily on claims that the Sackler family are personally to blame for a huge amount of the opiate crisis. I'm going to quote from NPR's coverage of that now quote. New York's 251 page suit claims to offer new details of how the Sacklers serving on produce board pushed year after year to boost the sale and consumption of their powerful opioid medications, reaping huge profits even as evidence mounted that the drugs posed at deadly risk. State officials claim they squeezed the company, funneling billions of dollars out of its coffers into a complex network of trusts, subsidiaries and private offshore accounts. We allege that the family has illicitly transferred funds from Purdue to personal trusts so that they are potentially outside the reach of law enforcement. And our efforts to seek restitution. Oh my God. On a related note, as the airing of this podcast, approximately 145 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses. So that's insane. Ticked up a couple since 2016. That's the story. So in the one of the there's so many bad parts of this story. But my one of my concerns. It seems like there's no consequences to this. It seems like this is still there's nothing changing. Yeah. So is that where something it's it's just not fair. The health system has to change or else this is not as long as there's profit. This might be an like the worst of it, but as long as there's profit going on, isn't this what we would expect from our health system? I mean if if if you are making for profit pain medication, all you care about is that you don't care that they're using it for pain, right? You just care that they're using it. If you don't take the profit out, then you can't eliminate that. Yeah, it seems like it might be. An inevitable consequence of the system as it is set up. And I'm sure everyone else is wondering this. I should have asked earlier. When you say Purdue, you do mean the chicken company, right? No. No. My God. Oh my God. So it's not. Oh my God. I'm so sorry. I thought we were talking about the chicken company this whole time. No, no, no, I'm kidding. I'm sorry. You looked at me like you really thought I was serious. I am so sorry. And one of the best things I could do is say the dumbest thing on cue. The only chicken company I know is Tyson, because the little town in Oklahoma where I grew up had a Tyson chicken. Plan. So that's that's what I think about. And also the little town in Oklahoma where I grew up has a crippling Oxycontin problem, killing, killing a lot of people in idabell. Yeah, good times. Good times. Do you think that there's a do you think that we've learned a lesson and that with things like fentanyl that are taking over Oxycontin, we're going to tighten up the rules that we have on these abusable drugs? I suspect we will continue punishing the users rather than punishing people like Richard Zack. I mean, it looks like the opioid crisis is such a bipartisan thing. Everybody knows what a problem it is and it's like it's it's not one of those things like climate change that a lot of chunks of the country don't believe in. Like everybody knows it's a thing. And so there might be serious consequences for the Sackler, the attentions on it. Now, I hope that we use this attention to do something. Yeah, I hope they all wind up in a cell. I would like that for the Sackler family. I would like them to lose all their money and be in a prison cell because they killed 200,000 people. Ish. But what they did is legally distinct from murder. All agree to that. But they killed a lot of people with their greed and corruption. And I mean, they're not incompetence, very competent, very competent scheme to addict America to painkillers, but like a trained assassin of the American dream. Yeah, like a trained assassin of the American dream. Like you hired someone to kill the the American heartland. And there is like, what have we just flood it with pills, little bitty white pills. Worked great. Hmm. Good plan. Pretty pretty cool. Pretty cool and good. Yeah, it's times like these. I wished, I believed that there was something to punish them in the afterlife. That would be nice. I would. That would be nice. I feel like if there was a bolt of lightning would have struck Richardson Long, long time at some point. Like when he heard that 59 people had died in Massachusetts and was like, it could be worse, could have been, could have been as bad as it's going to get. Ah, so that's. That's the episode. James, you want to plug some plegables before we push out here? Well yeah, of course I would. Alchemy. This comes out every Tuesday and Thursday. It's improv inspired by the users mail e-mail, so please check that out. And if you can, on May 7th at the dynasty typewriter theater in downtown Los Angeles, we're going to have a live recording of it at 8:00 PM. Beans and I will be on behindthebastards.com and at ******* pod on Instagram and Twitter although. Sophie manages both of those because I don't know how to use Instagram and it scares me. I know Beyoncé's on there and I don't know how to how to interact with that. Huh? Is that who's on your shirt? I don't know much about Beyoncé. I mean, I don't. I just don't know much about her. I know she's on the gram. I know she's big, a big grammar. She's gram and ********. But I don't know how to use the gram. I just. I I just tried to use Snapchat for the first time yesterday and it scared me and I I threw my phone in the trash and haven't picked up those. Those are expensive. I would not throw your phone away. I would just uninstall the app that I don't know how to do that. Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm the only thing I know how to do is Twitter, and I do too much Twitter. Well, you know how to do a damn good podcast or two. I would say there's a new one that you've got coming out that is there. Sophie, we have another podcast. Well, it's not new. It's. But it's new to me because I haven't heard it yet and I'm excited. What? What is what is that? What is the podcast? It could happen here. Oh, God sakes. When I like. It's a scary thing. But honestly, when we go through two hours of talking about Oxycontin and people getting away with it, there's a sick side of myself that wonders if it happening here might be it won't all be bad. I think that maybe some people might pay for serious consequences for what they've done. Yeah. Yeah. I don't want to say that. I don't want to sound like an anarchist. I'm OK with sounding like an anarchist. I will say this. I hope that it doesn't happen here. But if it does, I hope one of the few positive aspects of it is that people like the Sacklers are punished. Yeah. Yeah. That shouldn't be able to rule without. Yeah. Without balance, without some sort of something controlling that, you know, people shouldn't be going to prison for 60 years for selling pot. And then Richard Sackler gets $14 billion. Like, that doesn't seem fair to me. Oh well, he paid 600 million, and he did well. His company did he? He paid 75. Did have to just now. Whenever you're netting billions, you haven't been punished. Yeah, you haven't been punished. Yeah. It's like if you steal $1,000,000 from somebody's house and the cops, when they arrest you, make you pay $1000, it's like, well, this was worth it. Never do this again. I won't do this tomorrow. I don't believe I'll do this again. Yeah. Got him again. Get him again. They'll believe. Word? Yeah. Believe. Really? A lot of heavy lifting being done by the word believe in Purdue pharmaceutical ads. Alright, well this has been the podcast I've been Robert Evans buy a shirt off of T public. Sophie grabs her shirt and shakes it whenever it's time for me to mention the shirts because I always forget. So get a shirt on teepublic get some of our branded behind the ******** hydrocodone not Oxycontin for some reason that I don't understand, but it's got my face on it. We can't do that. You're telling me that's that's drug dealing, but I just, I just heard about a guy who made 30 like $14 billion dealing drugs. Can we is that not OK? OK, well apparently we have to stop doing that. This is the end of the episode. It's done. It's finished. Daniel, are you going to turn off the episode? Is it or is it time to do that? Is it time to do that? Am I going on too long again? If I, like, I do have that freedom. This is a lot of power because nobody can go until I finish the episode. So this is like, I know this, no one at home is enjoying this. But if I'm feeling such a rush right now, like I I'm holding the world and alright, so it's done. Hey, I'm duliba and I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast Dua Lipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio. Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Introducing the biz tape you're all things music business and media podcast. Join me, Joe Waslewski, and my co-host Colin McKay every Wednesday where we discuss the breaking news, changing the music industry, and what your favorite artists and creatives are up to. Listen to new episodes of the biz tape every Wednesday on the Nashville podcast network, available on iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.