Friday, 8 November 2013

Brothers in Chemistry

Although a degree in pharmaceuticals is usually
a ticket to a "clean" job with riches, those who
fail could always open a meth lab.

Now it turns out that the meth lab has a friend
in the pharma industry. The meth boys would
have a hard time without a particular drug
that big pharma provides.
You see, big pharma needs lots of lucre, and
they'll take the meth lab money any day.

checkit: Boing boing

Allies: meth merchants and big pharma
David Pescovitz at 12:37 pm Fri, Sep 27, 2013
In Mother Jones, Jonah Engle investigates the business of "shake and bake" methamphetamine labs and how legal drug manufacturers help illegal drug manufacturers stay in business by fighting to keep crank precursors like Sudafed available over the counter, or at least "behind the counter" without a prescription. From Mother Jones:
    If anyone wondered what would happen if heroin or cocaine addicts suddenly discovered how to make their own supply with a handful of cheap ingredients readily available over the counter, methamphetamine's recent history provides an answer. Since 2007, the number of clandestine meth sites discovered by police has increased 63 percent nationwide. In Kentucky, the number of labs has more than tripled. The Bluegrass State regularly joins its neighbors Missouri, Tennessee, and Indiana as the top four states for annual meth lab discoveries.
    As law enforcement agencies scramble to clean up and dispose of toxic labs, prosecute cooks, and find foster homes for their children, they are waging two battles: one against destitute, strung-out addicts, the other against some of the world's wealthiest and most politically connected drug manufacturers. In the past several years, lawmakers in 25 states have sought to make pseudoephedrine—the one irreplaceable ingredient in a shake-and-bake lab—a prescription drug. In all but two—Oregon and Mississippi—they have failed as the industry, which sells an estimated $605 million worth of pseudoephedrine-based drugs a year, has deployed all-star lobbying teams and campaign-trail tactics such as robocalls and advertising blitzes.
"Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business"
(Photo by Stacy Kranitz. See her photo essay: "Chasing Meth in Laurel County, Kentucky")

many happy customers: