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U.S. cannabis laws projected to cost generic and brand pharmaceutical firms billions. 

Bednarek Z, Doremus JM, Stith SS (2022) 

PLoS ONE 17(8): e0272492. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272492

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0272492

USA. CVS, Walgreens and Walmart ordered to pay 2 Ohio counties $650 million in opioids suit

CVS, Walgreens and Walmart ordered to pay 2 Ohio counties $650 million in opioids suit

A federal judge in Cleveland awarded $650 million in damages Wednesday to two Ohio counties that won a landmark lawsuit against national pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, claiming the way they distributed opioids to customers caused severe harm to communities. (CBS, USA, 17.08.2022)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioids-ohio-650-million-cvs-walmart-walgreens-lawsuit/

USA. Teva Reaches Tentative $4.25 Billion Settlement Over Opioids

The deal would end thousands of lawsuits against one of the largest producers of opioid painkillers during the height of the opioid epidemic. )New York Times, USA, 26.07.2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/26/health/teva-opioids-settlement.html

WHO raises alarm on tobacco industry environmental impact

WHO has today revealed new information on the extent to which tobacco damages both the environment and human health, calling for steps to make the industry more accountable for the destruction it is causing.

Every year the tobacco industry costs the world more than 8 million human lives, 600 million trees, 200 000 hectares of land, 22 billion tonnes of water and 84 million tonnes of CO2.  (WHO, Genf, 31.05.2022)

https://www.who.int/news/item/31-05-2022-who-raises-alarm-on-tobacco-industry-environmental-impact

WHO. Tobacco: poisoning our planet

Tobacco use is a well-documented threat to global health, and in the area of tobacco control, extensive work has been done to communicate the health risks of tobacco use and to reduce the demand for tobacco through effective policy interventions. What has been less discussed or documented are the environmental health risks of tobacco cultivation, production, distribution, consumption and waste. The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing, and has thus far received relatively little attention from researchers and policy-makers. 

The environmental consequences of tobacco use move it from being a human problem to a planetary problem. It is not just about the lives of tobacco users and those around them, or even those involved in tobacco production. Tobacco can no longer be categorized simply as a health threat – it is a threat to human development as a whole. (WHO, Genf, 22.05.2022)

https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240051287

USA. AbbVie's Allergan Reaches $2 Billion Opioid Lawsuit Settlement

(Reuters) - AbbVie Inc's unit Allergan has reached an agreement to pay over $2 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits related to the marketing of its opioid painkiller, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. (Reuters, 28.07.2022)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/978140

Teva wegen Opioidkrise zu Milliardenzahlung bereit

Washington – In der Opioidkrise in den USA hat sich der israelische Pharmakonzern Teva zur Zahlung von mehr als vier Milliarden Dollar bereiterklärt, um Klagen beizulegen. (arzteblatt.de, 27.07.2022)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/136246/Teva-wegen-Opioidkrise-zu-Milliardenzahlung-bereit

Schweiz. Guilty: Credit Suisse hit with money laundering conviction

The verdict is the first ever criminal conviction of a major Swiss lender in the country’s history. (Al Jazeera/Bloomberg, Katar/USA, 27.06.2022)

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/6/27/guilty-credit-suisse-hit-with-money-laundering-conviction

Worldwide spirits sales up 9% in 2021

The global spirits market grew to a value of €464 billion (US$490.3bn) in 2021 but was unable to return to pre-pandemic levels, new data has revealed.

Total spirits sales rose by 9% in 2021, according to WSA data 

The data was shared in the first Global Economic Footprint Brochure from the World Spirits Alliance (WSA), called: Global Sector – Local impact. The economic contribution of distilling & spirits production.

According to the report, the total spirits market grew by 9% in value terms in 2021. However, this was not enough to offset the 13.1% drop in sales experienced in 2020. (The Spirits Business, 21.06.2022)

https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2022/06/worldwide-spirits-sales-up-9-in-2021/

Weltgesundheitsorganisation: Umweltschäden durch Tabak enorm

Genf – Das Rauchen schadet nicht nur der Gesundheit, sondern auch der Umwelt enorm. Das zeigt die Weltge­sundheitsorganisation (WHO) in einem neuen Bericht unter dem Titel „Tabak: Vergiftung unseres Planeten“ auf. (aerzteblatt.de, 31.05.2022)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/134684/Weltgesundheitsorganisation-Umweltschaeden-durch-Tabak-enorm

Utilization, Spending, and Price of Opioid Medications in the US Medicaid Programs Between 1991 and 2019. 

Alsultan MM, Guo JJ. 

Am Health Drug Benefits. 2022 Mar;15(1):31-37. PMID: 35586617; PMCID: PMC9038001.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9038001/

Tobacco industry is “talking trash” on environmental harms of production, say WHO and watchdog 

Taylor L. 

BMJ 2022; 377 :o1211 doi:10.1136/bmj.o1211 

https://www.bmj.com/content/377/bmj.o1211

USA. Opioid industry archive releases 1.4M documents from leading opioid maker implicated in drug crisis

UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University have announced the addition of 1.4 million documents to their Opioid Industry Documents Archive from Mallinckrodt, a leading generic opioid manufacturer now in bankruptcy. The company is one of many in the opioid industry currently implicated in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people due to misleading marketing, sales, distribution, dispensing, and governance practices. (MedicalXpress, USA, 11.05.2022)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-opioid-industry-archive-14m-documents.html

Online Pharmacies Selling Prescription Drugs: Systematic Review. 

Long CS, Kumaran H, Goh KW, Bakrin FS, Ming LC, Rehman IU, Dhaliwal JS, Hadi MA, Sim YW, Tan CS. 

Pharmacy (Basel). 2022 Apr 1;10(2):42. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy10020042. PMID: 35448701; PMCID: PMC9031186.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9031186/

USA. McKinsey Opened a Door in Its Firewall Between Pharma Clients and Regulators

The firm let consultants advise both drugmakers and their government overseers, internal records show. “Who we know and what we know” was part of their pitch. (New York Times, 13.04.2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/13/business/mckinsey-purdue-fda-records.html

The Brave New World of Legalized Psychedelics Is Already Here

And so are the profiteers. Get ready for Psychedelics Inc. (The nation, USA, 21.03.2022)

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/legal-drugs-psychedelics-corporate/

USA. Drugs that treat opioid use disorder are a good use for multibillion-dollar settlement funds

States, cities, counties and tribal governments across the nation will soon receive a windfall through several major opioid settlements. Drug distributors and manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family members who own it, will relinquish a total of about US$32 billion for their role in the overdose crisis. Other litigation could yield more funds. (Conversation, UK, März 2022)

https://theconversation.com/drugs-that-treat-opioid-use-disorder-are-a-good-use-for-multibillion-dollar-settlement-funds-178392

USA. Yale begins removing Sackler name from campus amid opioid outrage

Purdue Pharma this month reached a nationwide settlement of lawsuits over its painkillers’ role in the crisis, with Sackler family members agreeing to pay out as much as $6bn themselves. (Al Jazeera, Katar, 11.03.2022)

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/3/11/yale-begins-removing-sackler-name-from-campus-amid-opioid-outrage

USA. Sackler Family, Purdue Pharma Reach $6 Billion Agreement With States 

March 4, 2022 -- Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, which owns it, have reached a new deal to settle lawsuits that accused them of fueling the opioid addiction epidemic with aggressive sales and marketing of OxyContin and other painkilling drugs.

Under terms of the proposed settlement, Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers would pay $5.5 billion to $6 billion to settle the lawsuits filed by a group of states and the District of Columbia, The New York Times and other media outlets reported. (WebMD, USA, 04.03.2022)

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20220304/sackler-family-purdue-pharma-settlement

USA. Sacklers agree to new $6bn Purdue US settlement over opioids

The Sackler family will pay up to $6 billion to address damage linked to the US opioid crisis under an amended Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan following an agreement with holdout states, according to a court filing Thursday. (MedicalXpress, USA, 03.03.2022)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-03-agreement-purdue-bankruptcy-opioid-crisis.html

STELLUNGNAHME (INKL. HINTERGRUND): Deutsche medizinische Fachgesellschaften verharmlosen Interessenkonflikte 

Die Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften (AWMF) hat innerhalb eines Vierteljahres zwei Stellungnahmen zur Zusammenarbeit mit der Arzneimittelindustrie abgegeben1,2. In beiden werden die gängigen Kooperationsformen von Mediziner*innen mit der Industrie quasi als natürliche Symbiose dargestellt. Es wird verschwiegen, dass sich auch Nachteile für Patient*innen und Versicherte aus der finanziellen Verflechtung von Firmen, Ärzt*innen und Fachgesellschaften ergeben können. Damit wird verschleiert, in welche Abhängigkeiten und Interessenkonflikte die Beteiligten geraten können. 

Auffällig ist, dass in beiden Stellungnahmen die bisherige AWMF-Position verwässert wird: Es galt, dass alle Arten von Interessenkonflikten „erkannt, selbst und fremd bewertet“ und „deren Einflüsse auf Entscheidungen“ reguliert werden müssen3. 

MEZIS, Leitlinienwatch und Transparency Deutschland befürchten, dass die deutschen medizinischen Fachgesellschaften langfristig Ansehen und Glaubwürdigkeit aufs Spiel setzen. Sie ignorieren den internationalen Trend, wissenschaftliche Unabhängigkeit gegen nachgewiesene Beeinflussungsversuche der pharmazeutischen Industrie zu verteidigen. Vor allem zeigen sie kein Problembewusstsein dafür, wie weit schon jetzt viele dieser Fachgesellschaften abhängig von Geldern der Industrie sind. (02.03.2022)

https://mezis.de/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Stellungnahme-plus-Hintergrund_MEZIS_TI_LLW_AWMF-verharmlost-IKs_finaL_2022-03-02.pdf

Schweiz. Credit Suisse Opened Accounts for Serbian Drug Lord Known as “Misha Banana”

Rodoljub Radulović, accused of being a senior member of an infamous Balkan cartel, controlled at least two accounts at Credit Suisse. One was suspected of being used to launder cash from drug transactions. A second, previously unknown to authorities, was allegedly used to protect his ill-gotten assets. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 20.02.2022)

https://www.occrp.org/en/suisse-secrets/credit-suisse-opened-accounts-for-serbian-drug-lord-known-as-misha-banana

Assessing the effect of article processing charges on the geographic diversity of authors using Elsevier’s “Mirror Journal” system. 

Audrey C. Smith, Leandra Merz, Jesse B. Borden, Chris K. Gulick, Akhil R. Kshirsagar, Emilio M. Bruna; 

Quantitative Science Studies 2022; 2 (4): 1123–1143. doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00157

https://direct.mit.edu/qss/article/2/4/1123/107612/Assessing-the-effect-of-article-processing-charges

USA. How the Sacklers Got Away With It (Audio)

Patrick Radden Keefe discusses how the family that helped create an overdose crisis that’s killed hundreds of thousands of Americans has escaped accountability. (New York Times, 14.02.2022, Audio, 42:39)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/14/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-patrick-radden-keefe.html

Schweiz. "Suisse Secrets": Credit Suisse und ihre kriminellen Kunden 

Über Jahre hat die Schweizer Bank Credit Suisse auch Kriminelle, umstrittene Staatschefs und korrupte Beamte als Kunden geführt. Das geht aus einem Datenleak hervor, das NDR, WDR und SZ ausgewertet haben. (Tagesschau, NDR – Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Stand: 20.02.2022 18:00 Uhr)

https://www.tagesschau.de/investigativ/ndr-wdr/suisse-secrets-105.html

Schweiz. Suisse Secrets

Swiss banks have been synonymous with secrecy for decades, conjuring up visions of vast riches safely held in mountain vaults. It's a strong brand — one Switzerland's government does everything it can to protect.

But what's good for the banks' wealthy clients can be bad for everyone else. When corrupt politicians or organized criminals turn to Switzerland to keep their money safe from prying eyes, the victims of their crimes will likely never see it again. And once dirty money makes it into a Swiss bank account, it's free to go anywhere.

Switzerland's draconian banking secrecy laws have made it nearly impossible for other governments or journalists to hold the industry to account. Until now.

Through our partner, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, OCCRP obtained leaked records on more than 18,000 Credit Suisse accounts, the largest leak ever from a major Swiss bank. This is just a small subset of the bank's overall holdings, but we still found dozens of dubious characters in the data, including an Algerian general accused of torture, the children of a brutal Azerbaijani strongman, and even a Serbian drug lord known as Misha Banana. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 20.02.2022)

https://www.occrp.org/en/suisse-secrets/

USA. US-Pharmakonzerne akzeptieren Opioid-Vergleich

Cleveland – Im Rechtsstreit um süchtig machende Schmerzmittel haben vier große US-Pharmaunter­neh­men einem weiteren Vergleich zugestimmt. Um Klagen von mehr als 400 Stämmen amerikanischer Ureinwohner beizulegen, akzeptieren Johnson & Johnson sowie die Arzneimittelhändler McKesson, Cardinal Health und AmerisourceBergen Zahlungen von insgesamt rund 590 Millionen Dollar (525 Millionen Euro). (aerzteblatt.de, 02.02.2022)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/131467/US-Pharmakonzerne-akzeptieren-Opioid-Vergleich

USA. Rechtsstreit über Opioide: US-Pharmakonzerne zahlen 590 Millionen Dollar an Ureinwohner 

In der Affäre um süchtig machende Schmerzmittel haben sich vier Pharmakonzerne zur Zahlung von über einer halben Milliarde Dollar an amerikanische Ureinwohner verpflichtet. Mehr als 400 Stämme hatten geklagt. (Spiegel online, 02.02.2022)

https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/opioidkrise-us-pharmakonzerne-akzeptieren-vergleich-590-millionen-dollar-an-ureinwohner-a-d76fe9ed-f2de-487c-bb22-7f17fcd5d999

USA. Study points to marketing of OxyContin as origin of the opioid epidemic

A state prescription drug policy first adopted in 1939, and last ended in 2004, appears to have influenced where Purdue Pharma chose to market its opioid drug OxyContin upon launch in 1996. The consequences of that decision reverberate to this day, according to a new study in The Quarterly Journal of Economics by LDI Senior Fellow Abby Alpert and colleagues, who estimate that states with the prescription policy had 11.3 fewer overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2017. (MedicalXpress, USA, 26.01.2022)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-01-oxycontin-opioid-epidemic.html

USA. Judge Overturns Purdue Pharma’s Opioid Settlement

The ruling said the company’s owners, members of the Sackler family, could not receive protection from civil lawsuits in return for a $4.5 billion contribution. (New York Times, USA, 16.12.2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/16/health/purdue-pharma-opioid-settlement.html