Insys Therapeutics Inc. recently donated $500,000 to stop marijuana legalization in Arizona.
However, Insys’ real motivation is likely more business-related than born out of a legitimate concern of citizen’s safety. The company, Insys Therapeutics Inc, only has one product on the market, Fentanyl (brand names: Duragesic, Fentora) – an opiate stronger than heroin marketed as a painkiller for cancer patients. Fentanyl and other legal opiates, such as the infamous Oxycontin, cause numerous overdoses every year due to their strong ability to cause dependency.
Fentanyl’s role in the opiate overdose crisis has been called a public health emergency by Canadian and US government officials. In contrast, Medical marijuana, which is legal in Arizona, is often used for the same purpose, but without fentanyl’s dangerous side effects, which include the development of life-threatening respiratory problems, hallucinations, and mental impairment.
Insys’ past actions further suggest that they are solely profit-motivated as they are currently under investigation in four states for dishonest marketing of fentanyl that allegedly resulted in the deaths of patients. In Illinois, a former Insys sales rep admitted to paying kickbacks to doctors so they would prescribe fentanyl to patients who didn’t need it, such as patients with back pain. The attorney general of Illinois is seeking to have fentanyl barred from being sold in the entire state of Illinois.
If weed is so dangerous, then why is Insys trying to make a synthetic version?
Natural medicines and medicinal plants are inexpensive and widely available, but without a patent, their sale could not generate the millions of dollars Pharmaceutical companies need to make to appease their shareholders. Insys’ actions are just another example that Big Pharma could care less about your health and is only interested in one thing: their bottom line.
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