The 8th Annual Alexander Awards: The Best Tox Reading of 2017

Alexander Gettler Once again, last year’s outstanding examples of long-form journalism dealing with topics related to medical toxicology were dominated by coverage of the opioid crisis, its origins and the resulting carnage. The must-read article of the year was “The Family That Built a Empire of Pain,” Patrick Radden Keefe’s massive history of the Sacklers, one of America’s richest clans, much of whose wealth comes from their ownership of Purdue Pharma and the marketing and distribution of Oxycontin. The article, which appeared in the New Yorker, notes that the clan’s patriarch, Arthur Sackler, worked his way through medical school in the 1940s by serving as a copywriter for a New York ad agency that targeted targeted physicians and medical workers. He was so successful at melding the then disparate worlds of Marcus Welby M.D. and Don Draper that ultimately he took over the entire company: “Until then, pharmaceutical companies had not availed themselves of Madison Avenue pizazz and trickery. As both a doctor and an adman, Arthur displayed a Don Draper-style intuition for the alchemy of marketing. He recognized that selling new drugs requires a seduction of not just the patient but the doctor who writes the prescription.” Sackler began using medical thought leaders to endorse specific products. Keefe quotes psychiatrist Allen Frances: “Most of the question practices that propelled the pharmaceutical industry into the ...
Source: The Poison Review - Category: Toxicology Authors: Tags: Medical 2017 Alexander awards opioids Purdue Pharma Sackler Source Type: news

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