30 May 2019

The pharmaceutical industry is full of corruption. We showed this in our article “Is there corruption in pharmaceutical industry?” in January 2017. Here is another case of recent pharmaceutical corruption in Italy. This is typical of corruption shown in the article. It seems they will never learn.

Associated Press reported that a prominent pain killer doctor, Guido Fanelli (Picture) , was receiving kickbacks from pharmaceutical executives as incentive to increase sales of opioid painkiller, OxyContin, in Italy. The executives include managers of Mundipharma, the international wing of Purdue Pharma, the American pharmaceutical giant which is facing more than 2,000 lawsuits because of its role in the opioid crisis. Two Mundipharma managers negotiated plea bargains in January after allegations that they paid Fanelli to push drug sales. They did not admit guilt.

Fanelli wrote articles, organized conferences and helped counter government warnings that opioid consumption was spiking and that physicians should be cautious. This is exactly what Perdue did in the U.S. a decade ago as shown below. Fanelli was well aware of this.

Fanelli allegedly set up phoney companies to receive kickbacks. These companies received $500,000 from Mundipharma and about $700,000 from Grunenthal.

Purdue executives in the U.S. were convicted for downplaying the addictiveness of misleading the public about the addictiveness of OxyContin. This unleashed the addiction epidemic in the US. Three executives were fined more than $600 million after pleading guilty in 2007. OxyContin is manufactured by Perdue Pharma.
Opioid prescriptions increased for ailments like arthritis, backaches, migraines. The prescription rate quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, and overdoses climbed. Sackler family, that owned Perdue climbed to the Forbes list of richest American families.