sickening book
In the latest episode of his "Under the Skin" podcast, comedian and political commentator Russell Brand interviewed John Abramson about his new book, "Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It."

In Brand's words, Abramson's book explains how doctors, "who dedicate their life to helping other people, who're good people who swore an oath ... find themselves in a position where they're prescribing medication [to their patients] that's no bloody good for them."

Abramson, author, physician and legal consultant, told Brand the opioid crisis, which was "one of the biggest disgraces the pharmaceutical industry has ever known," happened because drug companies "literally lied" about the addictiveness of their drugs โ€” in order to make huge profits.

While the opioid scam eventually garnered widespread attention leading to legal action, what opioid makers like Purdue Pharma did isn't unique, Abramson said. In fact, pharmaceutical companies lie all the time โ€” to patients, doctors and public health agencies.

"If you play the game the same way a million times, it's going to come out the same way a million times," Abramson said. "We need some referees here."

Brand asked Abramson:
"Is there an argument that pharmacology and medicine ought to be exempted entirely from profit-driven models because there's something inherently wrong about using people's pain and suffering to derive profit?"
Watch the interview here: