Friday, May 11, 2007

Giuliani, OxyContin, Big Pharma, and Terrorism

My mother-in-law would freak if she read Ed Silverman's Pharmalot Blog piece "OxyContin And...Our Next President?" connecting the OxyContin/Purdue Pharma criminals to presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who some people equate with The Saviour or at least with the One Who Can Do No Wrong.

What's the connection? You'll have to read Ed's piece for the details.

What caught my attention, however, is Ed's closing remarks:

"Perhaps, Guiliani [sic] is happy to have this tidbit circulating. This tale gives the appearance that he not only plays the game, but will bend over backwards for the right...well, you know. Maybe if Rudy is elected, all those annoying marketing investigations will fizzle. The US Attorney in Boston, along with his inquisitive staff, will disappear faster than one can say Alberto Gonzales.

"OxyContin, in retrospect, is a test case. Never mind the duplicity. Never mind the callousness. Never mind the illegalities. Never mind the deaths. Vote Rudy."

I guess it's safe to say that Ed is not a Giuliani fan, despite his close proximity to New York City. Not that there's anything wrong with that. [BTW, I predict that Giuliani will never be president -- no one can spell his name correctly!]

So far, Ed hasn't received any comments on his blog, but there are plenty of comments to the posting made at ABC News' "The Blotter", which "broke" the story (see "OxyContin: The Giuliani Connection"). Here are a few choice ones:
"As a former New Yorker, I never found much to admire in Guiliani [sic], certainly not his trying to kick his wife and children out of Gracie Mansion (the Mayor's House in NYC)to install his mistress and nothing that has been learned about his not-so-clean dealings has changed my mind. He has had his fingers in many a dirty pot."
I particularly like this one:
Breaking news'?...Are you kidding? Was this a secret? Are we to believe that if Giuliani has met with disreputable people at any point in his life, he's tainted? As the head of Giuliani Partners, a PR/consulting firm, you tend to have clients that need help with their image...generally something is wrong if they need such a firm.

He was also a prosecutor...so I guess Brian Ross & Co. will soon have 'Breaking News' that Giuliani had at one time met with prostitutes, murderers and gamblers.

Reminds me of the ex-blogger who was critical of the drug industry but now is a PR "mouthpiece" for the largest drug company in the world! (see "Is a Pharma PR Job In Your Future?")

How About the Drug Importation-Terrorism Connection?
This isn't the only time that Giuliani's firm has helped the pharmaceutical industry. Rudy et al were instrumental in PhRMA's use of terrorist scare tactics against proponents of drug re-importation from Canada.

Two years ago I wrote a piece in this blog that revealed Giuliani's role in helping formulate that scare tactic (see "Terror Politics vs drug Importation").

Giuliani was hired by PhRMA to find "evidence" that terrorists might be tampering with prescription drugs imported from Canada. According to Giuliani, opening U.S. borders to prescription drugs could provide an "unfortunate opportunity" for terrorists. "Several credible sources have identified links between counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals, and organized criminals and terrorist groups," he said. "It is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which terrorist groups could use this system to either finance operations or, worse, as a vehicle of attack."

The report never mentions who the credible sources were -- perhaps these were the same people that George Tenet cited in his "slam dunk" Iraq weapons of mass destruction justification for invading Iraq?

In the same fashion that Bush believed Tenet, PhRMA believed Giuliani. PhRMA then went one step too far and attempted to commission a novel to elevate the scare to a higher level (see
"PhRMA's Terrorist Plot").

All this fear mongering, however, proved unnecessary. A few days ago the Senate voted to allow Americans to import drugs from other countries but added a condition that makes the change unlikely to ever take effect (see the story here). PhRMA got just what it wanted simply through lobbying!

But lobbying may not be enough to get Giuliani nominated and elected president. Expect him to ratchet up the terrorist retorect. At least he won't have drug re-importation to kick around anymore!

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