Gloucester, Massachusettes chief calls out CEOs of Big Pharma for creating drug addicts! Way to go Gloucester!!!
An article in the Daily News, written by Staff Writer Ray Lamont
By Ray Lamont Staff Writer GLOUCESTER — When state Attorney General Maura Healey reached a deal with a California pharmaceutical company to cut the cost of a live-saving anti-overdose drug more than two weeks ago, Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello said he hoped that would spur drug industry to take a greater role in the opioid crisis.
Now, the chief has given top pharmaceutical manufacturers a nudge of his own.
In a Wednesday Facebook post, Campanello called out the CEOs earning the five highest salaries across the pharmaceutical industry, included their direct phone numbers and email addresses, and urged the public to contact them and ask what they are doing to address the “opioid epidemic.”
“(Ask) if they realize that the latest data shows almost 80 percent of addicted persons start with a legally prescribed drug that they make,” Campanello’s post reads. “They can definitely be part of the solution here, and I believe they will be. (But they) might need a little push.”
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Campanello’s post had drawn 775 “likes” and had been shared 536 times. Many of those posting in response indicated they had reached out to contact the CEOs via Campanello’s information.
The Gloucester Times’ own attempts to make those contacts yesterday afternoon found shaky results.
At Johnson & Johnson’s global headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J. — where CEO Alex Gorsky, at $20.38 million annually ranks second on Campanello’s list of top salaries — a woman answering the number listed by the Gloucester chief said that any emails sent directly to Gorsky would not get to him, and that no one on the switchboard would put through any calls to his office. A Times attempt to send an email directly to Gorsky came back with the message “access denied.”
Times’ messages to three other companies were not returned, but at Pfizer — where CEO Ian Read earns $23.3 million annually and is No. 1 on Campanello’s list — Susan Jones in the CEO’s office referred all questions and comments regarding any volume of messages to Steve Danehy in media relations. He said the company had “not been inundated” by messages yesterday, but otherwise referred questions to PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry trade group based in Washington, D.C.
There, Priscilla VanderVeer, PhRMA’s senior director of communications, took exception to the chief’s suggestion the industry wasn’t already working on aspects of the problem. She noted that many of the issues at the root of the opioid crisis are tied to companies manufacturing generic drugs, not the industry giants cited.