The Daily Dose: Purdue Pharma bound for bankruptcy; Ebola doctors deserve better

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Outbreaks of Ebola in Africa have always been much more than a scientific/epidemiological challenge. Healthcare workers have been stymied by local politics, caught between bullets from warring factions, and the object of suspicion from the afflicted population they are there to serve. An investigative article in Nature documents the obstacles that make treating Ebola so dangerous. According to the article, “The WHO has more Ebola responders on the ground than any other international organization because ongoing violence keeps many others at bay. The responders have faced death threats and stones, bullets and grenades.”

Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family have profited off the sales of OxyContin, one of the primary drugs in the ongoing opioid crisis crushing America. Now, a degree of justice has been dealt to company for their role in creating it. According to reports, the company has settled out of court with thousands of municipal governments in the United States. As per the New York Times, “Specifics of the settlement have yet to be hammered out, but according to two people involved in the negotiations, the broad contours of the deal would involve Purdue filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company would be dissolved, and a new one would be formed to continue selling OxyContin and other medicines, with the profits used to pay the plaintiffs. Purdue Pharma also would donate drugs for addiction treatment and overdose reversal, several of which are in development.” More of this please. Examples need to be set.

At one point long ago, very few people within the scientific community and nobody outside of it understood the role of agricultural use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the development of antibiotic resistance. Stuart Levy was one of the first and most influential researchers to investigate the phenomenon most people take for granted these days. Levy passed away but his contributions to science and society will continue to resonate.

Johns Hopkins is joining the vanguard of psychiatric drug research. The medical center “announced the launch of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, which will focus on using psychedelic compounds such as LSD, ketamine, and psilocybin to treat mental health problems. The center, founded with $17 million in donations, is the first of its kind in the US.” Let’s hear it for open minds and “open minds.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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