More regulation needed to oversee drugmakers

Barbara Rasmussen, Morgantown
Your editorial that questioned the truthfulness of four of the nation’s largest suppliers of Oxycodone (DP-May 13) was disheartening, but sadly it rang true. The numbers of addictive drugs pouring into our state under the color of legitimacy sorely tests my faith in this industry.
If your call for perjury investigations into their marketing tactics goes unheeded, then we have learned something: Pharmaceutical firms appear not to appreciate their very real obligation to participate as responsible members of the health care industry. If they are so emboldened as to continue absolving themselves from responsibility in this Oxycodone (opioid) crisis, what else can be done to stem their chemical attacks on our citizens?
I suggest we try taxation. Taxes and regulations have lessened the potentially harmful effects associated with other dangers such as alcohol, tobacco and automobiles. Is there a way to analyze our tax policies and use them to discourage the unlimited production of this drug?
Production of Oxycodone should be limited to the known medical need for it. If the source of this glut of addictive medicine is via prescriptions, then medical professionals are also complicit in this tragedy.
Over-production of Oxycodone weakens the state’s work force. At what point will the state and federal governments decide that enough is enough?
Such over-production begs for legislation to more rigorously regulate this industry. To those who reply with a defense of the private sector’s right to conduct business without regard to the hazard its products pose, I fall back on the philosophy that common sense can prevail: To wit: Their right to swing their fists stops at the tips of our noses.

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