Massively fatal drug distribution, to alter the quotation slightly, been berry, berry good to John Hammergren, whose rancid immorality has been cleaned up nice and good by outfits like CSIS, which allowed him to buy his way onto its board of trustees.

Every now and then an article appears that brings back the beautiful Hammergren way of life, in which you direct floods of killing substances into clueless hollers in West Virginia and suck up hundreds of millions of dollars for yourself while everyone dies and entire municipalities wither.

Yesterday’s New York Times told of a recommendation by the consultancy McKinsey that Purdue (Hammergren’s now-notorious supplier) keep the drugs flowing like crazy, and its distributors happy, by handing them cash whenever someone in their distribution territory overdosed. Overdoses after all are so… awkward. So unpleasant. So… actionable? I mean, a lot of these people die. Some of them have very compellingly grieving mothers who talk to newspapers and attorneys and all.

It’s the old drug dealer problem: You want addicts of course, cuz that’s where your big reliable bucks come from; but you don’t want dead or spasming or frothing at the mouth or almost dead addicts. You want nice functional non-deadbeat addicts. McKinsey’s solution to growing numbers of dead and dying addicts that might make the distributors… uncomfortable… is to compensate them for each and every OD. A good faith gesture:

If you’re a pharmaceutical-company CEO who is making an opioid that is killing people, you already know it’s a problem, and you already have a pretty good idea of how you have to handle it. You hire a firm like McKinsey, in this hypothetical scenario, to make it look as if you’re not the one coming up with the unsavory options. It gives you some numbers and some options on paper (actually, at least traditionally, a hardbound blue book). It also gives you plausible deniability. “I didn’t come up with this idea, Your Honor. It was the consultants!”

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“How do the C.E.O.s of these companies sleep at night?” Bob Ferguson, Washington’s attorney general, said at a recent news conference.

Sleep at night? John Hammergren, from his CSIS perch, is currently handing out how-to-stay-healthy tips to the American public. Take long walks, try the Mediterranean diet, and cram twenty oxys a day down your gullet.

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