industryterm:pharmaceuticals

  • Facebook Is Censoring Harm Reduction Posts That Could Save Opioid Users’ Lives
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qv75ap/facebook-is-censoring-harm-reduction-posts-that-could-save-opioid-users-lives

    As Facebook rolls out its campaign with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to “Stop Opioid Silence” and other initiatives to fight the overdose crisis, some stalwart advocates in the field are seeing unwelcome changes. In the past few months, accounts have been disabled, groups have disappeared, posts containing certain content—particularly related to fentanyl—have been removed, and one social media manager reports being banned for life from advertising on Facebook.

    In its efforts to stop opioid sales on the site, Facebook appears to be blocking people who warn users about poisonous batches of drugs or who supply materials used to test for fentanyls and other contaminants. Just as 1990s web security filters mistook breast cancer research centers for porn sites, today’s internet still seems to have trouble distinguishing between drug dealers and groups trying to reduce the death toll from the overdose crisis. VICE reviewed screenshots and emails to corroborate the claims made in this story.

    Facebook seems to be especially focused on fentanyl. Claire Zagorski, a wound care paramedic at the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition in Texas, said she informally surveyed other harm reduction groups about their experiences. About half a dozen reported problems with reduced distribution of posts or outright rejection—especially if they were trying to report a specific, local instance of fentanyl-tainted drugs. Two of the organizations affected were a harm reduction group called Shot in the Dark in Phoenix, Arizona, and Southside Harm Reduction Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    “I think it’s important to remember that they’re not being like, ‘Hooray drugs!’" Zagorski said. "They’re saying, ‘Be warned that this contaminated supply could be lethal.’”

    Devin Reaves, executive director and co-founder of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition, who hasn’t personally had posts blocked, said: “Facebook wants to address the opioid crisis, but when harm reductionists try to inform their communities about what’s dangerous, their posts are being blocked.”

    Why then is Facebook cracking down?

    When reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said the company is investigating these incidents. After VICE contacted Facebook, the company restored posts from Southside Harm Reduction and Shot in the Dark, as well as Louise Vincent’s ability to post her email address, which apparently triggered a spam filter unrelated to opioids.

    Facebook also told VICE that Marcom was blocked from posting ads due not to fentanyl test strips, but due to posts related to kratom, an herb used by some as a substitute for opioids. Facebook has decided that kratom is a “non-medical drug” and is removing posts and groups related to it—even though its use is considered to be a form of harm reduction.

    Marcom said he hadn’t posted any kratom-related ads since 2018 and added, “It’s extremely frustrating that they have chosen to ban a proven safe plant medicine, as Facebook used to be a space where tens of thousands went daily for help getting off of opiates and other pharmaceuticals.”

    #Facebook #Opioides #Liberté_expression #Régulation

  • Britain’s Other Irish Border Is Also a Big Brexit Problem - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-02-26/britain-s-other-irish-border-is-also-a-big-brexit-problem


    The Stena Adventurer, a passenger and ro-ro cargo ship, arrives at Holyhead Port.
    Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

    There’s an ominous number that keeps coming up in conversations among workers at the port handling the bulk of trade between the U.K. and Ireland: “the 29th.

    It’s the date at the end of March when Britain risks descending into chaos should politicians fail to agree on the terms of the country’s divorce from the European Union. The looming threat has meant Prime Minister Theresa May is now said to be considering extending the deadline. 

    The concern at #Holyhead in northwest Wales is that the 1,300 trucks and trailers passing through each day will get snarled up in new checks should the U.K. tumble out of the EU’s customs union without a new arrangement in place.

    This is the frontier that few people are talking about while the political energy focuses on preventing a land border between the U.K. province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the EU. Yet economically, it’s the most critical gateway for more than $40 billion of annual imports and exports, from meat and dairy goods to pharmaceuticals and even 1,000 horses a week as part of the bloodstock trade.

  • Palestinian teen shot, killed by Israeli forces in al-Bireh
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 5:55 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782092

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes that erupted in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday evening.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that a Palestinian from the al-Jalazun refugee camp arrived to the Palestine Medical Center in a critical condition.

    Sources added that the teen was injured with live bullets in the abdomen.

    The ministry identified the killed teen as Mahmoud Youssef Nakhleh.

    Israeli forces opened fire at the teen from a very close range; from less than 10 meters away.

    Israeli soldiers attempted to detain Nakhleh afterwards, however, Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics were able to take him and transfer him to the Palestine Medical Center after having to quarrel Israeli soldiers for more than 30 minutes.

    Nakhleh was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • After Shooting a Palestinian Teen, Israeli Troops Dragged Him Around – and Chased an Ambulance Away

      A Palestinian from the Jalazun refugee camp was shot in the back and died after soldiers kept him from receiving medical care
      Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Dec 20, 2018
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium--1.6765800

      What goes through the head of soldiers, young Israelis, after they shoot an unarmed Palestinian teenager in the back with live ammunition, prevent him from getting medical treatment, move him around, putting him on the ground and then picking him up again – and chase away an ambulance at gunpoint? For 15 minutes, the Israel Defense Forces soldiers carried the dying Mahmoud Nakhle , pulling him by his hands and feet, it’s not clear why or where, before allowing him to be evacuated. They had already shot him and wounded him badly. He was dying. Why not let the Palestinian ambulance that arrived at the site rush him to the hospital and possibly save his life? Nakhle died from a bullet in his liver and loss of blood. He was two weeks after his 18th birthday, the only son of parents who are descendants of refugees, and he lived in the Jalazun refugee camp adjacent to Ramallah, in the West Bank.

      Nakhle was killed last Friday, December 14.

      Getting to Jalazun took a long time this week; it was a long and stressful trip. Overnight, terror attacks and other sights of the intifada had returned simultaneously: innumerable surprise checkpoints, such as we hadn’t seen for years; long lines of Palestinian vehicles, forced to wait for hours; drivers emerging from their cars and waiting in desperation by the side of the road, anger and frustration etched on their faces; roads blocked arbitrarily, with people signaling each other as to which was open and which was closed; some cars making their way cross-country via boulder-strewn areas and dirt paths to bypass the roadblocks, until those options, too, were sealed off by the army. And also aggressive, edgy, frightened soldiers, carrying weapons that threatened just about anyone who made a move near them.

      Welcome back to the days of the intifada, welcome to a trip into the past: Even if only for a moment, the West Bank this week regressed 15 years, to the start of the millennium.

      The wind blows cold at the Jalazun camp. A throng of thousands of children and teenagers is streaming down the road, heading home from their schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency. The two schools, one for boys and one for girls, are situated at the camp’s entrance, on both sides of the main Ramallah-Nablus road. We were here a year and a half ago, after IDF soldiers shot up a car stolen from Israel when it stopped outside the settlement of Beit El, spraying it with at least 10 rounds, and killing two of its passengers. About half a year ago, we returned to the camp to meet Mohammed Nakhle, the bereaved father of 16-year-old Jassem, one of those fatalities. The father cried through our entire meeting, even though this was a year after he had lost Jassem.

      Mahmoud Nakhle, who was killed last week, was a relative of Jassem’s.

      Last Friday, there was stone throwing in the valley between Jalazun’s boys’ school and the first houses of Beit El, across the way. The soldiers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the young Palestinians. Quite a few of the camp’s residents have been killed at this spot, which has become a main arena of the struggle against the large, veteran settlement that looms through every window in poverty-stricken, overcrowded Jalazun, situated below.

      The stone throwing had slowed down in the afternoon and had just about stopped when an IDF force, arriving in two vehicles, began chasing after the youths, who were now on their way back to the camp, at about 4 P.M. The latter numbered about 15 teens, aged 14 to 18. Suddenly the soldiers started shooting, using live ammunition – even as calm was apparently about to be restored. A video clip, one of several that captured the event, shows the soldiers walking along the road and firing into the air.

      The wail of an ambulance slashes the air now, as we stand at the site of the incident with Iyad Hadad, a field investigator for the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem, who collected testimony from eyewitnesses. Nakhle chose to return home by way of a dirt path that passes above the camp. The soldiers ran after him and one of them shot him once, in the lower back. Nakhle fell to the ground, bleeding.

      The occupant of the first-floor apartment in the closest building in Jalazun, just meters from the site of the incident, heard the shot, the groans and a call for help. She assumed someone had been wounded, but wasn’t sure where or who he was. From her window she saw a group of soldiers standing in a circle, though she couldn’t see the wounded person who lay on the ground between them. A second eyewitness saw one soldier nudge Nakhle with his foot, apparently to see if the teen was still alive. They then pulled up his shirt and pulled down his pants, apparently to check whether the stone-throwing youth was a dangerous, booby-trapped terrorist. As the video accounts show, he was left lying like that, exposed in his blue underwear. The woman from the apartment rushed out to summon help, but the soldiers fired toward her to drive her off. One bullet struck her husband’s car.

      The soldiers lifted Nakhle up and carried him a few dozen meters from where he’d fallen, laying him down at the side of the road. One of the eyewitnesses related that they carried him “like you haul a slaughtered sheep.” The video clip shows them carrying him not in the prescribed way for moving someone who is seriously wounded, but by his hands and his feet, his back sagging.

      Before the soldiers shot at the first eyewitness – whose identity is known to the B’Tselem investigator – to scare her off, she shouted at them to let the wounded person be and to allow him to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. “Leave him alone, do you want to kill him… give him aid.” She also shouted at the soldiers that she was his mother – apparently hoping that the lie would stir pity in them – but to no avail. In the video shot by her daughter on her cell phone, the woman sounds overwrought, gasping for breath as she cries out, “In God’s name, call an ambulance!”

      After five to seven minutes, the soldiers again lifted Nakhle, once more by his extremities, and carried him a few dozen meters more, in the direction of the main road, and again laid him by the roadside. A Palestinian ambulance that had arrived at the scene was chased off by the soldiers, who threatened the driver with their rifles. As far as is known, the soldiers did not give Nakhle any sort of medical aid. The woman from the house again shouted, now from her window: “In God’s name, let the ambulance take him away.” But still to no avail.

      It was only after a quarter of an hour, during which Nakhle continued to bleed, that the soldiers allowed an ambulance to be summoned. A video clip shows Nakhle raising one hand limply to the back of his neck, proof that he was still alive. Half-naked, he’s placed on a stretcher and put in the ambulance, which speeds off, its siren wailing, to the Government Hospital in Ramallah.

      The teen apparently breathed his last en route, arriving at the hospital with no pulse. Attempts were made to resuscitate him in the ER and to perform emergency surgery, but after half an hour, he was pronounced dead. Dr. Muayad Bader, a physician in the hospital, wrote on the death certificate that Mahmoud Nakhle died from loss of blood after a bullet entered his lower back, struck his liver and hit a main artery, damaging other internal organs.

      A group of children is now standing at the site where Nakhle fell, practicing stone throwing on the way back from school. They hurl the stones to the ground in a demonstrative fit of anger. In the mourning tent that was erected in the courtyard of the camp, adorned with huge posters of the deceased, the men sit, grim-faced, with the bereaved father, Yusuf Nakhle, 41, in the center. Disabled from birth, he is partially paralyzed in his left arm and leg. We asked him to tell us about Mahmoud’s life.

      “What life? He hadn’t yet lived his life, they robbed him of his life,” he replies softly. Mahmoud attended school until the 10th grade and then studied electrical engineering at a professional college in Qalandiyah. He completed his studies and afterward a year of apprenticeship, and was waiting to find a job as an electrician. His father was waiting for him to help provide for the family. Yusuf is a technician at a pharmaceuticals company in Bir Zeit, near Ramallah. He and his wife, Ismahan, 45, have two more daughters, aged 14 and 4. Mahmoud was their only son.

      In response to an inquiry, the IDF Spokesman’s Office gave Haaretz the following statement this week: “On December 14, 2018, there was a violent disturbance adjacent to Jalazun, during which dozens of Palestinians threw rocks at IDF soldiers. The soldiers responded with demonstration-dispersal measures.

      “During the disturbance, a Palestinian holding a suspicious object approached one of the soldiers. The soldier fired at him. Later, it was reported that the Palestinian had been killed. The Military Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Upon its completion, the findings will be transferred to the military advocate general’s office.”

      The spokesman’s office did not respond to a question regarding the denial of medical assistance to Mahmoud Nahle.

      Last Friday, the hours passed normally in the home of Nakhle family in the Jalazun camp. Breakfast, a shower; the son asks his father if he needs anything before going out around midday. Never to return. At 4:30, Yusuf’s brother called to inform him that his son had been wounded and was in the Government Hospital. By the time his father arrived, Mahmoud had been pronounced dead.

      “We are human beings and it is our right to live and to look after our children. We too have feelings, like all people,” says Rabah, Mahmoud’s uncle, the brother of his father. Yusuf has watched the video clips that document the shooting and the hauling of his dying son dozens of times, over and over. Ismahan can’t bring herself to look at them.

  • Why Spain is a Window into the E.U. Migration Control Industry

    Spain’s migration control policies in North Africa dating back over a decade are now replicated across the E.U. Gonzalo Fanjul outlines PorCausa’s investigation into Spain’s migration control industry and its warning signs for the rest of Europe.

    There was a problem and we fixed it.” For laconic President José María Aznar, these words were quite the political statement. The then Spanish president was speaking in July 1996, after 103 Sub-Saharan migrants who had reached Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, were drugged, handcuffed and taken to four African countries by military aircraft.

    President Aznar lay the moral and political foundations of a system based on the securitization, externalization and, increasingly, the privatization of border management. This system was consolidated by subsequent Spanish governments and later extended to the rest of the European Union, setting the grounds for a thriving business: the industry of migration control.

    Between 2001 and 2010, long before Europe faced the so-called “refugee crisis,” Spain built two walls in its North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, signed combined development and repatriation agreements with nine African countries, passed two major pieces of legislation on migration, and fostered inter-regional migration initiatives such as the Rabat Process. Spain also designed and established the Integral System of External Surveillance, to this day one of the most sophisticated border surveillance mechanisms in the world.

    The ultimate purpose of these efforts was clear: to deter irregular migration, humanely if possible, but at any cost if necessary.

    Spain was the first European country to utilize a full array of control and cooperation instruments in countries along the migration route to Europe. The system proved effective during the “cayuco crisis” in 2005 and 2006. Following a seven-fold increase in the number of arrivals from West Africa to the Canary Islands by boat, Spain made agreements with several West African countries to block the route, forcing migrants to take the even riskier Sahel passage.

    Although the E.U. questioned the humanitarian consequences of these deals at the time, less than a decade later officials across the continent have replicated large parts of the Spanish system, including the E.U. Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and agreements between the Italian and the Libyan governments.

    Today, 2005 seems like different world. That year, the E.U. adopted its Global Approach on Migration and Mobility, which balanced the “prevention of irregular migration and trafficking” with promising language on the “fostering of well-managed migration” and the “maximization” of its development impact.

    Since then, the combined effect of the Great Recession – an institutional crisis – and the increased arrival of refugees has diluted reformist efforts in Europe. Migration policies are being defined by ideological nationalism and economic protectionism. Many politicians in Europe are electorally profiting from these trends. The case of Spain also illustrates that the system is ripe for financial profit.

    For over a year, Spanish investigative journalism organization porCausa mapped the industry of migration control in Spain. We detailed the ecosystem of actors and interests facilitating the industry, whose operations rely almost exclusively on public funding. A myriad private contractors and civil society organizations operate in four sectors: border protection and surveillance; detention and expulsion of irregular migrants; reception and integration of migrants; and externalization of migration control through agreements with private organisations and public institutions in third countries.

    We began by focusing on securitization and border management. We found that between 2002 and 2017 Spain allocated at least 610 million euros ($720 million) of public funding through 943 contracts related to the deterrence, detention and expulsion of migrants. Our analysis reached two striking conclusions and one question for future research.

    Firstly, we discovered the major role that the E.U. plays in Spain’s migration control industry. Just over 70 percent of the 610 million euros came from different European funds, such as those related to External Borders, Return and Internal Security, as well as the E.U. border agency Frontex. Thus, Spanish public spending is determined by the policy priorities established by E.U. institutions and member states. Those E.U. institutions have since diligently replicated the Spanish approach. With the E.U. now driving these policies forward, the approach is likely to be replicated in other European countries.

    Secondly, our data highlights how resources are concentrated in the hands of a few businesses. Ten out of the 350 companies included in our database received over half of the 610 million euros. These companies have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Spanish government in other sectors such as defence, construction and communications, and are now gaining a privileged role in the highly sensitive areas of border surveillance and migration control.

    Our research also surfaced a troubling question that has shaped the second phase of our inquiry: to what extent are these companies influencing Spanish migration policy? The capture of rules and institutions by elites in an economic system has been documented in sectors such as defence, taxation or pharmaceuticals. That this could also be happening to borders and migration policy should alarm public opinion and regulators. For example, the key role played by private technology companies in the design and implementation of Spain’s Integral System of External Surveillance demonstrates the need for further investigation.

    Spain’s industry of migration control may be the prototype of a growing global phenomenon. Migration policies have been taken over by border deterrence goals and narratives. Meanwhile, border control is increasingly dependent on the technology and management of private companies. As E.U.-level priorities intersect with those of the highly-concentrated – and possibly politically influential – migration control industry, Europe risks being trapped in a political and budgetary vicious circle based on the premise of migration-as-a-problem, complicating any future reform efforts towards a more open migration system.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/05/21/why-spain-is-a-window-into-the-e-u-migration-control-industry
    #Afrique_du_Nord #externalisation #modèle_espagnol #migrations #contrôles_migratoires #asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #réfugiés #histoire

  • Neurocapitalism | openDemocracy
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/ewa-hess-hennric-jokeit/neurocapitalism

    There is good reason to assert the existence, or at least the emergence, of a new type of capitalism: neurocapitalism. After all, the capitalist economy, as the foundation of modern liberal societies, has shown itself to be not only exceptionally adaptable and crisis-resistant, but also, in every phase of its dominance, capable of producing the scientific and technological wherewithal to analyse and mitigate the self-generated “malfunctioning” to which its constituent subjects are prone. In doing so – and this too is one of capitalism’s algorithms – it involves them in the inexorably effective cycle of supply and demand.

    Just as globalisation is a consequence of optimising the means of production and paths of communication (as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels predicted), so the brain, as the command centre of the modern human being, finally appears to be within reach of the humanities, a field closely associated with capitalism. It may seem uncanny just how closely the narrow path to scientific supremacy over the brain runs to the broad highway along which capitalism has been speeding for over 150 years. The relationship remains dynamic, yet what links capitalism with neuroscience is not so much strict regulation as a complex syndrome of systemic flaws.

    At this point, if not before, the unequal duo of capitalism and neuroscience was joined by a third partner. From now on, the blossoming pharmaceutical industry was to function as a kind of transmission belt connecting the two wheels and making them turn faster. In the first half of the twentieth century, mental disorders were treated mainly with sedative barbiturates, electric shock therapy and psychosurgery. But by the 1930s, neuro-psychopharmacology was already winning the day, as Freud had predicted it would.

    Is it a paradox, or one of those things that are so obvious they remain unobserved, that the success of Freud’s psychoanalysis and that of modern neuroscience are based on similar premises? Psychoanalysis was successful because it wove together medically relevant disciplines like psychiatry and psychology with art, culture, education, economics and politics, allowing it to penetrate important areas of social life. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the neurosciences seem to be in a position to take on a comparable role in the future.

    The ten top-selling psychotropic substances in the USA include anti-depressants, neuroleptics (antipsychotics), stimulants and drugs for treating dementia. In 2007 one hundred million prescriptions were issued for these drugs with sales worth more than sixteen billion dollars. These figures illustrate how, in an environment that is regulated but difficult to control, supply and subjectively perceived need can create a market turning over billions of dollars. What is more, it is a market that is likely to expand into those areas in which a performance-driven society confronts the post-postmodern self with its own shortcomings: in others words in schools and further education, at work, in relationships, and in old age. Among the best-selling neuro-psychotropic drugs are those that modulate the way people experience emotions and those that improve their capacity to pay attention and to concentrate, in most cases regardless of whether there is a clinically definable impairment of these functions.

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    Neurocapitalism
    Ewa Hess and Hennric Jokeit 3 March 2010
    Despite the immense costs for healthcare systems, the fear of depression, dementia and attention deficit disorder legitimises the boom in neuro-psychotropic drugs. In a performance-driven society that confronts the self with its own shortcomings, neuroscience serves an expanding market

    Today, the phenomenology of the mind is stepping indignantly aside for a host of hyphenated disciplines such as neuro-anthropology, neuro-pedagogy, neuro-theology, neuro-aesthetics and neuro-economics. Their self-assurance reveals the neurosciences’ usurpatory tendency to become not only the humanities of science, but the leading science of the twenty-first century. The legitimacy, impetus and promise of this claim derive from the maxim that all human behaviour is determined by the laws governing neuronal activity and the way it is organised in the brain.

    Whether or not one accepts the universal validity of this maxim, it is fair to assume that a science that aggressively seeks to establish hermeneutic supremacy will change everyday capitalist reality via its discoveries and products. Or, to put it more cautiously, that its triumph is legitimated, if not enabled, by a significant shift in the capitalist world order.

    There is good reason to assert the existence, or at least the emergence, of a new type of capitalism: neurocapitalism. After all, the capitalist economy, as the foundation of modern liberal societies, has shown itself to be not only exceptionally adaptable and crisis-resistant, but also, in every phase of its dominance, capable of producing the scientific and technological wherewithal to analyse and mitigate the self-generated “malfunctioning” to which its constituent subjects are prone. In doing so – and this too is one of capitalism’s algorithms – it involves them in the inexorably effective cycle of supply and demand.

    Just as globalisation is a consequence of optimising the means of production and paths of communication (as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels predicted), so the brain, as the command centre of the modern human being, finally appears to be within reach of the humanities, a field closely associated with capitalism. It may seem uncanny just how closely the narrow path to scientific supremacy over the brain runs to the broad highway along which capitalism has been speeding for over 150 years. The relationship remains dynamic, yet what links capitalism with neuroscience is not so much strict regulation as a complex syndrome of systemic flaws.

    Repressive late nineteenth-century capitalism, with its exploitative moral dictates, proscriptions and social injustices, was a breeding ground for the neurosis diagnosed by scientists in the early twentieth century as a spiritual epidemic. This mysterious scourge of the bourgeoisie, a class which according to Marx, “through the rapid improvement of all instruments of production [...] draws all, even the most barbarian nations, into civilisation”, expressed the silent rebellion of the abused creature in human beings. It was, in other words, the expression of resistance – as defiant as it was futile – of people’s inner “barbarian nation” to forceful modernisation and civilisation.

    To introduce here the inventor of psychoanalysis and neurosis researcher Sigmund Freud as the first neurocapitalist practitioner and thinker might be thought to be overstepping the mark. Yet people tend to forget that Freud was a neuro-anatomist and neurologist by training, and saw himself primarily as a neuroscientist. What distinguished him from his colleagues was that he was more aware of the limitations of the methods available for studying the brain at the end of the nineteenth century. Having identified neurosis as an acquired pathology of the nervous system for which there was no known treatment or way to localise, he decided instead to take an indirect route. The means he invented in order both to research and to cure this mysterious illness was psychoanalysis. Fellow researchers like Oskar Vogt, who continued to search for the key to psychopathology and genius in the anatomy of the brain, were doomed to fail. From then on, psychology served the requirements of everyday life in a constantly changing capitalist reality. As a method based on communication, psychoanalysis penetrated all spheres of social interaction, from the intimate and private to the economic and cultural. In doing so, it created new markets: a repair market for mental illness and a coaching market for those seeking to optimise capitalist production and reproduction.

    Delayed by the Second World War, the repressive capitalism of the nineteenth century was eventually replaced by libertarian, affluent capitalism. Conformity, discipline and feelings of guilt – the symptoms of failure to cope with a system of moral dictates and proscriptions – gave way to the new imperative of self-realisation. The psychic ideal of the successful individual was characterised by dynamically renewable readiness for self-expansion, which for the subject meant having a capacity for self-motivation that could be activated at any time and that was immune to frustration. Failure now meant not being able to exhaust the full potential of one’s options. This development brought a diametric change in the character of mental illness. Neurosis, a disorder born of guilt, powerlessness and lack of discipline, lost its significance. Attention shifted to the self’s failure to realise itself. Depression, the syndrome described by Alain Ehrenberg in The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age, began its triumphal march.

    Depression, however, was also the first widespread mental illness for which modern neuroscience promptly found a remedy. Depression and anxiety were located in the gaps between the synapses, which is precisely where they were treated. Where previously there had only been reflexive psychotherapy, an interface had now been identified where suffering induced by the self and the world could now be alleviated directly and pre-reflexively.

    At this point, if not before, the unequal duo of capitalism and neuroscience was joined by a third partner. From now on, the blossoming pharmaceutical industry was to function as a kind of transmission belt connecting the two wheels and making them turn faster. In the first half of the twentieth century, mental disorders were treated mainly with sedative barbiturates, electric shock therapy and psychosurgery. But by the 1930s, neuro-psychopharmacology was already winning the day, as Freud had predicted it would.

    Is it a paradox, or one of those things that are so obvious they remain unobserved, that the success of Freud’s psychoanalysis and that of modern neuroscience are based on similar premises? Psychoanalysis was successful because it wove together medically relevant disciplines like psychiatry and psychology with art, culture, education, economics and politics, allowing it to penetrate important areas of social life. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the neurosciences seem to be in a position to take on a comparable role in the future.

    What cannot be overlooked is that the methodological anchoring of the neurosciences in pure science, combined with the ethical legitimacy ascribed to them as a branch of medicine, gives them a privileged position similar to that enjoyed by psychoanalysis in the early twentieth century. Unlike the latter, however, the neurosciences are extremely well funded by the state and even more so by private investment from the pharmaceutical industry. Their prominent status can be explained both by the number and significance of the problems they are attempting to solve, as well as the broad public recognition of these problems, and by the respectable profits to be made should they succeed. In other words, they are driven by economic and epistemic forces that emanate from the capitalism of today, and that will shape the capitalism of tomorrow – whatever that might look like.
    II

    In Germany, the USA and many western European countries, it is neither painkillers nor cardiovascular drugs that now put the greatest strain on health budgets, but rather neuro-psychotropic drugs. The huge market for this group of drugs will grow rapidly as life expectancy continues to rise, since age is the biggest risk factor for neurological and psychiatric illness. All over the world, whole armies of neuroscientists are engaged in research in universities, in projects often funded by the pharmaceuticals industry, and to an even greater extent in the industry’s own facilities, to find more effective and more profitable drugs to bring onto the market. The engine driving the huge advances being made in the neurosciences is capital, while the market seems both to unleash and to constrain the potential of this development.

    Depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorders are now regarded by researchers and clinical practitioners alike as products of neuro-chemical dysregulation in interconnected systems of neurotransmitters. They are therefore treated with substances that intervene either directly or indirectly in the regulation of neurotransmitters. Given that the body’s neuro-chemical systems are highly sensitive and inter-reactive, the art of successful treatment resides in a process of fine-tuning. New and more expensive drugs are able to do this increasingly effectively and selectively, thus reducing undesirable side effects. Despite the immense costs for healthcare systems, the high incidence of mental disorders and the fear of anxiety, depression and dementia make the development of ever better neuro-psychotropic drugs desirable and legitimate.

    However, the development and approval of drugs designed to alleviate the symptoms of mental disorders also open the gates to substances that can be used to deliberately alter non-pathological brain functions or mental states. The rigid ethical conventions in the USA and the European Union – today the most profitable markets for neuro-psychotropic drugs – mean that drug development, whether funded by the state or by the pharmaceuticals industry, is strictly geared towards the prevention and treatment of illness. Few pharmaceutical companies are therefore willing to make public their interest in studying and developing substances designed to increase the cognitive performance or psychological wellbeing of healthy people. The reason is simple: there is no legal market for these so-called “neuro-enhancers”. Taking such drugs to perform better in examinations, for example, is a punishable offence in the USA. Yet sales figures for certain neuro-psychotropic drugs are considerably higher than the incidence of the illnesses for which they are indicated would lead one to expect. This apparent paradox applies above all to neuropsychotropic drugs that have neuro-enhancement properties. The most likely explanation is that neuro-enhancers are currently undergoing millions of self-trials, including in universities – albeit probably not in their laboratories.

    The ten top-selling psychotropic substances in the USA include anti-depressants, neuroleptics (antipsychotics), stimulants and drugs for treating dementia. In 2007 one hundred million prescriptions were issued for these drugs with sales worth more than sixteen billion dollars. These figures illustrate how, in an environment that is regulated but difficult to control, supply and subjectively perceived need can create a market turning over billions of dollars. What is more, it is a market that is likely to expand into those areas in which a performance-driven society confronts the post-postmodern self with its own shortcomings: in others words in schools and further education, at work, in relationships, and in old age. Among the best-selling neuro-psychotropic drugs are those that modulate the way people experience emotions and those that improve their capacity to pay attention and to concentrate, in most cases regardless of whether there is a clinically definable impairment of these functions.

    Attempts to offset naturally occurring, non-pathological deviations from the norm are referred to as “compensatory” or “moderate enhancement” – in the same way that glasses are worn to correct the eyes’ decreasing ability to focus. The term describes a gradual improvement in function to a degree that is still physiologically natural. By contrast, “progressive” or “radical enhancement” denotes a qualitative improvement in function that exceeds natural boundaries. To return to the optical metaphor, we could say that the difference between these forms of performance enhancement is like that between wearing spectacles and night-vision glasses.

    In all ages and cultures, producers and purveyors of drugs and potions purported to enhance the individual’s cognitive state have been able to do a tidy trade, as the many references to magic potions and fountains of youth in literature and the fine arts testify. Nowadays, one substance with this kind of mythical status is ginkgo. Billions of dollars worth of ginkgo-biloba preparations are sold in the USA every year; and if ginkgo really did have any significant effect on cognition or memory, it would be a classic case of the widespread, unchecked use of a compensatory neuro-enhancer. As it is, however, the myth and commercial success of ginkgo are more a testament to the perhaps universal human need for a better attention span, memory and mental powers, and to the willingness to pay good money to preserve and enhance them.

    For the attainment of happiness as the aim of a good life, Aristotle recommended cultivating a virtuous mind and virtuous character. This is precisely what some neuro-psychotropic drugs are designed to do. The virtues of the mind are generally understood to be instrumental traits like memory and attention span. The extent to which these traits are innate or acquired varies from person to person. After adolescence, their efficiency gradually goes into decline at individually varying rates. Inequality and the threat of loss are strong motivations for action. The current consensus on the ethics of neuro-enhancement seems to be that as long as the fundamental medical principles of self-determination, non-harm (nil nocere) and benefit (salus aegroti) are adhered to, rejecting pharmacological intervention in the instrumental traits of the brain would be at odds with a liberal understanding of democracy.

    A more complex ethical problem would seem to be the improvement of so-called character virtues, which we shall refer to here as socio-affective traits. Unlike instrumental traits such as attention span and memory, traits like temperament, self-confidence, trust, willingness to take risks, authenticity and so on are considered to be crucial to the personality. Pharmacological intervention that alters these traits therefore affects a person’s psychological integrity. While such interventions may facilitate and accelerate self-discovery and self-realisation (see the large body of literature on experience with Prozac, e.g. Peter D. Kramer, Listening to Prozac: Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of the Self , they may also do the exact opposite. We will never be able to predict with any certainty how altering instrumental and socio-affective traits will ultimately affect the reflexively structured human personality as a whole. Today’s tacit assumption that neuro-psychotropic interventions are reversible is leading individuals to experiment on themselves. Yet even if certain mental states are indeed reversible, the memory of them may not be.

    The barriers to neuro-enhancement actually fell some time ago, albeit in ways that for a long time went unnoticed. Jet-lag-free short breaks to Bali, working for global companies with a twenty-four hour information flow from headquarters in Tokyo, Brussels and San Francisco, exams and assessments, medical emergency services – in all of these situations it has become routine for people with no medical knowledge to use chemical substances to influence their ability to pay attention. The technologies that have sped up our lives in the era of globalisation – the Internet, mobile phones, aeroplanes – are already a daily reality for large numbers of people and are interfering with their biologically and culturally determined cycles of activity and rest.

    That is not to say that the popularisation of these findings has had no effect at all. Reconceptualising joy as dopamine activity in the brain’s reward centres, melancholy as serotonin deficiency, attention as the noradrenalin-induced modulation of stimulus-processing, and, not least, love as a consequence of the secretion of centrally acting bonding hormones, changes not only our perspective on emotional and mental states, but also our subjective experience of self. That does not mean that we experience the physiological side of feelings like love or guilt any differently, but it does make us think about them differently. This, in turn, changes the way we perceive, interpret and order them, and hence the effect they have on our behaviour. By viewing emotions in general terms rather than as singular events taking place in a unique temporal and spatial context, the neurosciences have created a rational justification for trying to influence them in ways other than by individual and mutual care.

    The possibility of pharmacological intervention thus expands the subjective autonomy of people to act in their own best interests or to their own detriment. This in turn is accompanied by a new form of self-reflection, which encompasses both structural images of the brain and the ability to imagine the neuro-chemical activity that goes on there. What is alarming is that many of the neuroscientific findings that have triggered a transformation in our perception of ourselves are linked with commercial interests.

    It is already clear that global capitalism will make excessive demands on our material, and even more so on our human-mental resources. This is evident from the oft-used term “information society”, since information can only function as a commodity if it changes human behaviour, and it can only do this if we accord it our attention and engage with it emotionally.

    #Neurocapitalisme #Neurosciences

  • Opioid billionaire granted patent for addiction treatment | Financial Times
    https://www.ft.com/content/a3a53ae8-b1e3-11e8-8d14-6f049d06439c
    https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/http%3A%2F%2Fprod-upp-image-read.ft.com%2F9a83636a-b263-11e8-87e0-d84e0d934341?s

    Purdue owner Richard Sackler listed as inventor of drug to wean addicts off painkillers
    Richard Sackler’s family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the opioid painkiller OxyContin © Reuters

    David Crow in New York

    A billionaire pharmaceuticals executive who has been blamed for spurring the US opioid crisis stands to profit from the epidemic after he patented a new treatment for drug addicts.

    Richard Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the notorious painkiller OxyContin, was granted a patent earlier this year for a reformulation of a drug used to wean addicts off opioids.

    The invention is a novel form of buprenorphine, a mild opiate that controls drug cravings, which is often given as a substitute to people hooked on heroin or opioid painkillers such as OxyContin.

    The new formulation as described in Dr Sackler’s patent could end up proving lucrative thanks to a steady increase in the number of addicts being treated with buprenorphine, which is seen as a better alternative to other opioid substitutes such as methadone.

    Last year, the leading version of buprenorphine, which is sold under the brand name Suboxone, generated $877m in US sales for Indivior, the British pharmaceuticals group that makes it.

    Before the opioid crisis, the Sackler family was primarily known for its philanthropy, emerging as one of the largest donors to arts institutions in the US and UK. But the rising number of addictions and deaths has highlighted the family’s ownership of Purdue, which some members have tried to shy away from.

    It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health
    Luke Nasta, director of Camelot

    Dr Sackler’s patent, which was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in January, acknowledges the threat posed by the opioid crisis, which claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016.

    “While opioids have always been known to be useful in pain treatment, they also display an addictive potential,” the patent states. “Thus, if opioids are taken by healthy human subjects with a drug-seeking behaviour they may lead to psychological as well as physical dependence.”

    It adds: “The constant pressures upon addicts to procure money for buying drugs and the concomitant criminal activities have been increasingly recognised as a major factor that counteracts efficient and long-lasting withdrawal and abstinence from drugs.”

    However, the patent makes no mention of the fact that Purdue Pharma has been hit with more than a thousand lawsuits for allegedly fuelling the epidemic — allegations the company and the Sackler family deny.

    “It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health,” said Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, an addiction treatment centre in Staten Island, New York. He said the Sackler family “shouldn’t be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates — and that includes opioid substitutes”.

    Buprenorphine is prescribed to opioid addicts in tablets or thin film strips that dissolve under the tongue in less than seven minutes. These “sublingual” formulations are used to stop drug abusers from hoarding a stockpile of pills they can sell or use to get high at a later date.

    The patent describes a new, improved form of buprenorphine that would come in a wafer that disintegrated more quickly than existing versions — perhaps in just a few seconds.

    The original application was made by Purdue Pharma and Dr Sackler is listed as one of the inventors alongside five others, some of whom work or have worked for the Sackler’s group of drug companies.

    “Drug addicts sometimes still try to divert these sublingual buprenorphine tablets by removing them from the mouth,” the patent application stated. “There remains a need for other . . . abuse-resistant dosage forms.”
    Recommended
    US opioid epidemic
    What next for the Sacklers? A pharma dynasty under siege

    In June, the Massachusetts attorney-general filed a lawsuit against Dr Sackler and seven other members of the Sackler family, which accused them of engaging in a “deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids”.

    Purdue and the family deny the allegations and Purdue said it intends to file a motion to dismiss. The company points out that OxyContin was, and still is, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

    “We believe it is inappropriate for [Massachusetts] to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the regulatory, scientific and medical experts at FDA,” it said in a recent statement to the Financial Times.

    Andrew Kolodny, a professor from Brandeis University who has been a vocal advocate for greater use of buprenorphine to battle the opioid crisis, said the idea Dr Sackler “could get richer” from the patent was “very disturbing”. He added: “Perhaps the profits off this patent should be used to pay any judgment or settlement down the line.”

    Earlier this week, Purdue donated $3.4m to boost access to naloxone, an antidote given to people who have just overdosed on opioids.

    #Opioides #Cynisme #Capitalisme_sauvage #Brevets #Sackler

  • The future of water infrastructure goes beyond dams and reservoirs — Quartz
    https://qz.com/1353828/dams-and-reservoirs-cant-save-us-this-is-the-new-future-of-water-infrastructure

    #eau #eau_potable #épuration #eaux_usées #désalinisation #eau_saumâtre

    Treating brackish water is expensive, but it’s getting cheaper as the technology matures. In his work at the University of New Mexico, Hightower, the civil engineering professor, has been collecting data on desalination costs for decades. His research shows that in the US, starting in 2005, treating brackish groundwater from nearby sources has been less expensive on average than piping in fresh water from a remote source—especially if that source is 75 miles or more away, a common solution for arid places as their local supply of freshwater dwindles.

    Texas is on it: the 2017 state water plan set a goal to turn 111,000 acre-feet of brackish groundwater a year into drinking water by 2070.

    Toilet-to-tap

    Water engineers politely call it “direct potable reuse.” Others call it “toilet-to-tap.” The United Nations calls it a massive untouched resource that could nudge society into a “circular economy,” where economic development is “balanced with the protection of natural resources…and where a cleaner and more sustainable economy has a positive effect on the water quality.”

    In Singapore, an island nation lacking any freshwater resource big enough to sate its growing population (pdf), they’re a bit more direct: “Basically, you drink the water, you go to the toilet, you pee, and we collect it back and clean it,” George Madhavan, ‪a director at Singapore’s public utility, told USA Today in 2015.

    Since 2003, Singapore has been treating sewage to drinking-water standards. For now, most of that water is used for industrial purposes, but the volumes are impressive. About 40% of the nation’s total water needs are met by toilet-to-tap, significantly reducing the pressure on the rest of its freshwater sources—rainwater, desalinated seawater, and imports. In the last few years, the country started handing out bottles of the reclaimed water at events, to get its citizens used to the idea of drinking it directly. Singapore plans to squeeze a full 55% of its water supply from sewage by 2060. By then, they hope, drinking it will be the norm.

    In Namibia, the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the capital city Windhoek has been doing “toilet-to-tap” for so long that several generations of residents don’t bat an eye at drinking the stuff. The city has been turning raw sewage into drinking water for 50 years. Windhoek has never had a single illness attributed to the reclaimed wastewater.

    “Public confidence is that very, very fragile link that keeps the system going,” Pierre van Rensburg, Windhoek’s strategic executive for urban and transport planning, told the American Water Works Association, an international nonprofit, in 2017. “I think if there is ever one incident that could be linked back to the [direct potable reuse] plant, the public would lose all confidence.”

    “It tastes like bottled water, as long as you can psychologically get past the point that it’s recycled urine.”

    The science behind this isn’t new. In fact, a high-tech version of direct potable reuse has been used by American astronauts since humans first left Earth. In space, humans have no choice but to drink their own distilled urine. On the US side of the International Space Station, a high-tech water system collects astronauts’ urine, sweat, shower water, and even the condensate they breathe into the air, and then distills it all to drinking-water standards.

    “It tastes like bottled water, as long as you can psychologically get past the point that it’s recycled urine and condensate,” Layne Carter, who manages the ISS’s water system out of the Marshall Flight Center in Alabama, told Bloomberg Businessweek (paywall) in 2015. The Russian astronauts, however, decline to include their urine in their water-purification system. So the US astronauts go over to the Russian side of the ISS and pick up their urine, bring it back over to the American side, and purify it. Water is precious, after all.

    Back on Earth, the technology is more rudimentary. Whereas in space, urine is spun in a centrifuge-like system until water vapor emerges, is recondensed, then heated, oxidized, and laced with iodine, the process on Earth involves a combination of extracting waste through membrane filters and exposure to UV light to kill bacteria. (And in Namibia, they use waste-eating bacteria before zapping the microorganisms with UV.) To keep up with the ever-expanding number of chemicals and pharmaceuticals that show up in water, these water-reuse will have to keep evolving. Still, it’s proven technology, and cost-effective at scale.

    Outside of a few examples, however, communities have been slow to adopt them as viable solutions to water scarcity, likely because of cultural stigma around drinking filtered sewage water. That’s slowly changing as rising temperatures, dwindling freshwater, and more frequent, more extreme droughts have cities looking around for options.

  • How #blockchain Can Help Artists’ Resale Rights
    https://hackernoon.com/how-blockchain-can-help-artists-resale-rights-8178f4e058e1?source=rss---

    By Jacqueline O’Neill, Executive Director at Blockchain #art Collective. Originally published on Quora.Resale rights already exist in a number of creative industries.To use a song in a commercial, a company has to license it and pay royalties to the musician. Every time a book is purchased, the author gets a small percentage of the sales.But for many visual artists, once they’ve created and sold a work of art, that’s the last they ever hear about it. Their resale rights are essentially non-existent. If the piece is sold for a few thousand dollars, and then goes for several hundred thousand a decade later, the artist is out of luck.Fortunately, that’s starting to change. The blockchain is making waves in the art world, and artist resale rights is one area where those waves may end up having an (...)

    #blockchain-artist #artists-resale-rights #quora-partnership

    • How and Why We Invented the CryptoSeal

      “We can now put a tiny computer chip with cryptographic identity into a slim adhesive seal strip form factor to secure a package,” said one of our software engineers, Maksym Petkus, “enabling mathematically- and cryptographically-closed loop integration with the blockchain and secure high-value assets with this tamper-evident technology.”

      Today, at the ID Tech Expo in Santa Clara, we announced the release of our CryptoSeal prototype, representing a major step forward in immutable supply chain provenance and the secure movement of physical assets.
      What is a CryptoSeal?

      The first in what will be a line of blockchain-registered and tamper-evident hardware products, CryptoSeals each contain a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip embedded with unique identity information. This identity data is then immutably registered and verified on a blockchain (we currently offer support for Ethereum and plan to expand to other blockchains, including Bitcoin, Zcash, Hyperledger, and Symbiont).

      The tamper-evident form factor, developed in collaboration with Cellotape Smart Products, registers not only the identity of an object onto the blockchain, but also records the identity of its registrant and packaging or asset metadata. And, with their customizable size allowing application to a variety of packages, from envelopes to shipping containers, CryptoSeals have the ability to securely verify sender identity and timestamp shipment deliveries, and provide a secure chain of custody in the supply chain.
      Why do you need a blockchain?

      Our CEO, Ryan Orr, likes to compare the CryptoSeal to the King’s Signet Ring: “you can think of it like the old system of the Signet Ring stamping a wax seal on a letter. The signet holder is analogous to the registrant of the CryptoSeal, the wax to the chip inside of the seal, and the stamping of the signet is like the signing of the CryptoSeal to the Blockchain. On its own each component, from the cryptographic chips to the tamper evident seals and blockchain registration, is necessary but insufficient to solve the problem. Together the three technologies create a strong solution.”
      Who can benefit from using CryptoSeals?

      Our CryptoSeals can be affixed to any physical item, guaranteeing its identity and authenticity in an unforgeable way. There are more than a handful of business use cases for our new product, which combines the best of blockchain technology and Internet of Things (or Everything, as we like to call it): medical equipment, fine art, electronics, cold chain, and forensic evidence tracking, to name a few. Individual consumers also benefit in being able to verify and protect their artistic creations, secure luggage, ship high-value items internationally, as well as prove authenticity of items they buy and sell on secondary markets.

      One of the most exciting use cases of the CryptoSeal for us at Chronicled is pharmaceutical tracking, where a secure chain of custody and immutable provenance are needed but often lacking. The high monetary value, along with the human suffering, associated with fraudulent pharmaceuticals necessitates new solutions for tracking authenticity. According to Interpol, Operation Pangea, their pharmaceutical investigation, seized 2.4M fraudulent pills in 2011; four years later, in 2015, that skyrocketed to 20.7M.

      The estimated monetary value? $81M USD.

      We can directly address this problem. Chronicled’s CryptoSeals can be customized to fit and seal shipments of pharmaceuticals, including individual cartons and containers. If the antenna in the adhesive seal is broken at any time, it will be impossible to verify the chip inside the CryptoSeal, ensuring that patients have confidence when they receive legitimate, untampered-with pharmaceuticals.
      When will CryptoSeals be available?

      Our CryptoSeals will begin entering the market late this year with standard offerings and unique solutions, with customizable sizing and adhesives, for clients.

      You can learn more on our website or contact us! And, to stay up to date with our work, sign up for our mailing list below.

      https://blog.chronicled.com/how-and-why-we-invented-the-cryptoseal-6577d8633a2

  • University of Glasgow :: Story :: Biography of Mortimer Sackler
    https://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH27277&type=P

    Dr Mortimer Sackler (1916-2010) was an American physician and entrepreneur. He was Chairman and co-Chief Executive of Purdue Pharma, a leading American pharmaceuticals company. Alongside his brothers Arthur and Raymond, he used his fortune from the pharmaceutical industry to become a prominent philanthropist and he greatly supported the University of Glasgow.

    Sackler was born on 7th December 1916 in Brooklyn to Isaac and Sophie (nee Greenberg), Polish Jewish immigrant Brooklyn grocers. After attending Erasmus Hall High School, Sackler sailed to the UK in 1937 and, with the help of Glasgow’s Jewish community, enrolled at Anderson’s College of Medicine, an institution that became part of the University of Glasgow in 1947. He attended the College between 1937-1939. His brothers Arthur and Raymond also studied at Anderson’s College in the years 1937-39 and 1938-40 respectively. Mortimer Sackler was prevented from finishing his degree at the University by the outbreak of the Second World War and finished his MD degree in Massachusetts. Dr Mortimer Sackler and his brothers bought the New York pharmaceuticals company Purdue Frederick Co in 1952. All three were research psychiatrists.

    Mortimer Sackler received an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow in 2001 for his support of the University. He funded the Sackler Institute of Psychobiological Research, a research unit at the Southern General Hospital which investigates neuro-psychiatric disorders in association with the Sackler Institute at the University of Edinburgh. The Institute was opened in 2004.

    Dr Mortimer Sackler died on 24th March 2010.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Mortimer_Sackler

  • Local Guides
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    Warum wir nicht dabei sind, lesen Sie hier: Google befiehl, wir folgen dir ist nicht unsere Devise. Dann sind wir schon eher Gegen-Google.
    http://www.anti-google.de

    Aber Sie lesen den Kwatsch wahrscheinlich auch nicht. Nutzen Sie Google dennoch? Dann sollten Sie einen kurzen Blick auf https://tosdr.org werfen.

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  • Saudi de facto blockade starves Yemen of food and medicine
    https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/yemen-saudi-blockade

    The de facto blockade is exacting a dire humanitarian toll. The Saudi-led coalition’s ships are preventing essential supplies from entering Yemen, even in cases where vessels are carrying no weapons, according to previously unreported port records, a confidential United Nations report and interviews with humanitarian agencies and shipping lines.

    A U.N. system set up in May 2016 to ease delivery of commercial goods through the blockade has failed to ensure the Yemeni people get the supplies they need.

    The result is the effective isolation of Yemen, a nation of 28 million people where a quarter of the population is starving, according to the United Nations. The war has claimed 10,000 lives. Half a million children under the age of five are severely malnourished, and at least 2,135 people, most of them children, have died of cholera in the past six months.

    Aid agencies have ramped up their deliveries of food to some parts of Yemen this year. But Yemen imports more than 85 percent of its food and medicine, and commercial shipments have plunged. In the first eight months of this year, only 21 container ships sailed to Hodeida, according to port data compiled by the U.N. World Food Programme and Reuters. By comparison, 54 container ships delivered twice the volume of goods in the same period last year. Before the war, 129 container ships reached the port in the first eight months of 2014.

    Food and medicine are being choked off. No commercial shipment of pharmaceuticals has made its way to Hodeida since a Saudi-led airstrike destroyed the port’s industrial cranes in August 2015, according to the administrator of the port, which is under Houthi control. In at least one case this year, a blocked commercial shipment contained humanitarian aid as well.

  • The palm oil crisis in Nigeria - and beyond - The Ecologist
    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2989253/the_palm_oil_crisis_in_nigeria_and_beyond.html

    The use and spread of palm oil is beyond imagination; from cooking and manufacturing to pharmaceuticals and drilling fluids, it is even in nanny’s chocolate cake. Its global consumption may have increased more than any other good, but what does this entail for the farmers? The crisis in Edo State of Nigeria speaks for itself, reports BURAG GURDEN

    #industrie_palmiste #Nigéria

    • This year in June, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and representatives of the Owan and Okomu communities delivered a letter to Godwin Obaseki administration, urging them to uphold a revocation Order on 13,750 hectares of land expropriated by Okomu Plc in the rich Owan and Okomu forest reserves. The latter meant the revival of a long-standing reaction to persistence of corporate impunity and of institutional inaction against the mounting violation of indigenous peoples’ land rights.

      The action followed a protest march called “People’s March Against Land-grabbing and Deforestation in Edo State”, which was to expose Okomu Plc’s defiance of the revocation order.

      Under former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the sale of the lands in contention covering an estimated 13,750 hectares spread through Okomu and Owan forest reserve were reversed. However, Okomu Plc has been deliberately disregarding the government order for two years.

      “In the process, over 60,000 rural farmers in the farming communities have been displaced” the ERA/FoEN disclosed in a statement on June 21 (extracted from the field report by Rita Uwaka, Project Officer and Coordinator for Forest & Biodiversity.

  • Divers in Sweden sniff out 340-year-old shipwrecked cheese | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/divers-in-sweden-sniff-out-340-year-old-shipwrecked-cheese

    Divers exploring a historic royal shipwreck off the south-east coast of Sweden have discovered what they believe is probably a chunk of exceedingly smelly, 340-year-old cheese.

    We’re pretty sure it’s some kind of dairy product, butter or cheese,” said Kalmar county museum’s Lars Einarsson, who is in charge of the dive on the wreck of the #Kronan, a 126-gun warship that sank in 1676.

    It’s like a mixture of yeast and Roquefort, a sort of really ripe, unpasteurised cheese,” Einarsson told local media. He added that, while he was partial to cheeses “whose character lives on in their smell”, this one was “probably not for everyone”.

    The tin in which the pungent mess was found has been sent for lab analysis, Einarsson told Kvällsposten. He said divers found it “pressed into the clay” of the seabed, and that the fall in pressure when it reached the surface had allowed some of the contents to leak out of the threaded lid.

    That’s when the smell hit us,” he said. “I certainly don’t recommend tasting it. It’s a mass of bacteria.

    The malodorous find was unveiled earlier this week along with a number of other discoveries from a two-week exploration of the wreck, including 14 gold coins, a diamond ring and a significant quantity of 17th-century pharmaceuticals.

    The 53-metre (174ft) Kronan, one of the largest warships of its day, exploded and sank off the southern tip of the Baltic Sea island of Öland on 1 June 1676 while manoeuvring before a battle with an allied Danish-Dutch fleet.

    Historians believe the vessel foundered while attempting a turn under too much sail and in rough weather, somehow igniting its gunpowder magazine, which blew off most of its bow. Only 42 of the ship’s 800-strong crew survived.

    Discovered in 1980, the Kronan – currently Sweden’s largest underwater archaeology project – has yielded nearly 30,000 artefacts, including dozens of bronze cannon, coins, medical items, bottles and about 400kg of victims’ bones.

    Now 90% complete, the exploration will continue for two or three more seasons, Einarsson said, and may eventually result in a museum dedicated to the wreck.

    He did not say whether the cheese would be among the displays.

    Après les vins millésimés (Champagne 1916, si je me souviens bien), la #Baltique fournit le #fromage_qui_pue
    #archéologie_sous-marine

  • Ireland’s Recovery Has Nothing to Do With Austerity
    Voters headed to the polls this Friday should take heed: The Celtic Tiger got its groove back despite — not because of — the EU and IMF’s advice.

    By Philippe Legrain
    February 24, 2016

    Ireland’s Recovery Has Nothing to Do With Austerity
    After years of crisis, austerity, and wage cuts, Ireland’s economy grew by 7 percent last year, faster than China’s. With a general election on Feb. 26, the governing coalition has been quick to claim credit for this turnaround, as have policymakers in Berlin and Brussels who celebrate Ireland as the poster child of the harsh medicine they prescribed in the country’s financial assistance program. “See,” they say to Greeks and others, “if you do what you’re told, it works.” But while Ireland’s economic recovery is impressive, it has happened despite the European Union and International Monetary Fund’s policies that the government faithfully followed, not because of them.

    Understanding Ireland’s present requires first understanding its recent past. Twenty-five years ago, Ireland was the poorest country in northern Europe. Yet by the eve of the financial crisis, it had leapt to being among the richest. Thanks to growth rates matching Asia’s dynamic economies, it was dubbed the “Celtic Tiger.” That remarkable economic progress was based on attracting foreign investment, notably from American firms, with its attractive business climate, including its low corporate taxes and skilled workforce. That foreign investment, in turn, fueled an export boom. But the years before the crisis also saw the emergence of a huge property bubble, financed by reckless bank lending, which ended in an almighty bust after 2007.

    Given the size of the bubble, the bust was bound to be painful. But government policy made matters much worse. In late September 2008, in the turmoil following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the previous Fianna Fail administration extended a two-year government guarantee to all the creditors of Ireland’s busted banks. In effect, this put taxpayers on the hook for the banks’ astronomical losses. By late 2010, when the government finally saw sense and sought not to extend the guarantee, it was strong-armed into bailing out banks’ creditors anyway by eurozone policymakers. In an outrageous abuse of power, the then president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, threatened, in effect, to force Ireland out of the eurozone should it not comply.

    The upshot was that Irish taxpayers were lumbered with some 64 billion euros in bank debt — around 14,000 euros ($15,400) per person. They were forced to bail out the German, French, and British banks and other foreign bondholders who had financed Ireland’s bubble. And Ireland was pushed into the clutches of the EU and the IMF. Over the next three years, they imposed huge budget and wage cuts as a condition for lending the Irish government 67.5 billion euros, primarily to bail out the foreign creditors of bust Irish banks.

    The current Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition, which took office in March 2011, cannot be blamed for that. But it can be criticized for failing to fight in Ireland’s corner in Brussels, naively relying instead, to no avail, on other eurozone governments’ goodwill to deliver justice on the bank debt. Moreover, the present government cannot claim credit for the recovery. This was primarily due to a combination of Ireland’s underlying strengths and more favorable external factors, rather than the EU-prescribed policies that it has followed.

    For sure, the government needed to tighten its belt once the tax revenues from the property bubble had vanished. But the pace and scale of austerity were unduly harsh, not least because of the bank bailouts. Moreover, the government’s Germanic drive to bolster exports by driving down wages was misconceived. Lower wages made Ireland’s huge debts, both private and public, harder to bear. They depressed domestic demand further, pushing up unemployment. And slashing wages was based on a false premise. While Irish civil servants enjoyed bumper pay raises in the bubble era, wages in the export sector never got out of line with productivity. And since Ireland competes on the basis of its increasingly high-tech business clusters, not its low wages, wage cuts were not a sensible road to growth.

    Why, then, has the Celtic Tiger rebounded? In part, because the economies of Ireland’s two biggest export markets, Britain and the United States, have recovered, so export-led growth has resumed. A weaker euro has also helped. Above all, as research by Aidan Regan of University College Dublin shows, many of the export sectors in which the dynamic Irish economy increasingly specializes — notably biotech, pharmaceuticals, and business and computer services — have boomed. And they boosted output and employment while raising wages, not slashing them.

    A note of caution is due. Part of the recovery is an accounting fiction due to U.S. tech and other firms allocating profits to Ireland for tax purposes; the only benefit Ireland derives from this profit shifting is the low taxes charged on it. Nor is the economy out of the woods yet. While unemployment has fallen sharply, it is still 8.9 percent, and many talented young people have emigrated. Overall wages remain depressed. The government still ran a budget deficit of some 1.7 percent of GDP last year. And the Irish economy is acutely vulnerable to a slowdown in the United States or a bursting of what some think is a tech bubble.

    Still, it remains nonsense that the EU policies that the Fine Gael-Labour Party government faithfully followed triggered recovery. Nor is it true that economies with very different structures and an unbearable burden of government debt, such as Greece, could emulate Ireland’s success if only they followed instructions.

    Ireland now needs a clean broom. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have alternated in governing the country since just after its independence nearly a century ago. Their differences derive from their stances in the post-independence civil war, rather than from ideology. Since neither has proved competent, alternatives are needed.

    Regrettably, the search for alternatives has often led down blind alleys in other European countries. Greece’s radical-left government has so far failed to obtain debt relief from its EU creditors and is not confronting the oligarchs and special interests that also hold the economy back. The racism and protectionism of the likes of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France would be a disaster.

    But disenchanted Irish voters are rallying to mostly reasonable independents and new parties that reflect a variety of views from conservative to social democratic. Together, the upstarts are polling 29 percent, ahead of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. Irish people can confidently reject the old establishment parties that have mismanaged the country in recent years and embrace positive change.

    #irlande #crise_bancaire #crise_financière

  • The revolving door : greasing the wheels of the TTIP lobby | Corporate Europe Observatory
    http://corporateeurope.org/revolving-doors/2015/07/revolving-door-greasing-wheels-ttip-lobby


    En gros, les entreprises ne se contentent pas de faire du lobbying pendant les négos du TTIP : elles sont carrément aux commandes puisqu’elles fournissent une partie des conseillers européens, ce qui est bien commode.

    The prospective EU-US trade deal TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) could be the world’s biggest such treaty. While there are disagreements and divergences, in many areas of the negotiations the European Commission is singing from the corporate hymn-sheet. The revolving door between the public and private sectors is helping to grease the wheels of the TTIP corporate lobby. Some of the EU’s most senior decision-makers and officials, alongside those from the member state levels, spin through the revolving door into corporate advisor roles; others go in the other direction, from corporate jobs into the public sector. These revolving door cases cover some of the biggest EU corporate lobby sectors, including telecoms and IT issues; food and agriculture; finance; investor-state dispute settlement; pharmaceuticals; regulatory cooperation; and others. This phenomenon creates great potential for conflicts of interest, and demonstrates the synergies between business interests and the European Commission, the UK government, and others when it comes to TTIP and trade negotiations.

  • This is the end, this is the end of the insurance | mollydotcom
    http://www.molly.com/2015/06/18/the-end-of-the-insurance

    That’s my lifeline friends, and if it goes away, I will be effectively cost contained as I will cost no more money at all because I’ll be dead! The insurance companies, big pharmaceuticals and the medical industrial complex that so aptly defines my nation’s greed and unconscionable sociopathy let us die off because we can’t afford the damned care. Yet off we send more money to war, to weapons, to armies, to the unrelenting cycle of harming, maiming, killing and heartless oppression of the human spirit. I struggle to understand but I cannot understand that at all. Human callousness is not fascinating. It’s despicable.

    Il y a encore des gens fascinés par les États Unis ?

  • Drugs companies unite to mine genetic data - FT.com
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4d1792fe-d2f1-11e4-b7a8-00144feab7de.html#axzz3VchnVvVj

    Several of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals companies have formed a partnership with Genomics England in the first step towards using genetic data from NHS patients in medical research.
    GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, the two biggest UK drugs groups, will team up with rivals, including Roche of Switzerland and AbbVie and Biogen of the US, to mine information from a government project to decode the genomes of 100,000 patients with cancer and rare diseases.

  • Fighting the scourge of fake medicines | The World Economic Forum
    http://forumblog.org/2014/09/cracking-counterfeit-medicines-emerging-markets

    When a mother walks into a pharmacy to pick up medicine for her baby, she doesn’t expect to be tricked into buying poison and supporting criminals. But according to the World Customs Organization, around $200 billion of fake ‒ and potentially harmful ‒ pharmaceuticals are sold every year. In fact, the trade in counterfeit drugs is growing even faster than the official pharmaceutical industry.

    #faux_médicaments (un sujet qu’adorent les défenseurs de #big_pharma et des #brevets, car il leur permet de s’habiller en blanc ; mais un sujet bien tristement réel)

  • Egypte : Al Sissi va recevoir la plus importante délégation d’entreprises US depuis la révolution de 2011 - Ahram Online

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/114969.aspx

    L’une des demandes des révolutionnaires était de se débarrasser de toute intrusion de pays étrangers ; Morsi avait été accusé de « vendre » l’Egypte aux pays étrangers, dont les Etats-Unis

    El-Sisi to meet with largest US business delegation since 2011 revolution
    Three-day visit will include 66 large American companies in energy, telecommunications, food, pharmaceuticals, banking, infrastructure and other sectors

    Egypt will host on Sunday the largest delegation of American business owners and officials to visit the country for three years, including representatives of 66 large companies.

    Participants will include General Electrical International Inc., Microsoft and IBM in the ICT sector, First Solar International, Noble Energy, and ExxonMobil in the energy sector as well as drug maker Pfizer along with other major corporations operating in additional sectors.

    The delegation is the largest to visit the country since the 2011 revolution which toppled the regime of then-president Hosni Mubarak, according to Anis Aclimandos, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

    The visit will last three days, reported state agency MENA, during which time the delegation will meet Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, as well as other ministers and Egyptian businessmen.

    Egyptian-American relations have been strained following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, when the US temporarily froze military aid to Egypt. 

    Egypt is preparing to host a major economic summit in February next year in a bid to attract international investments after three years of political instability and economic turmoil.

    This week’s visit will send a positive message to investors worldwide about foreign interest in the Egyptian market, said Aclimandos, and will indicate that Egypt is a stable country in a volatile region.

    The delegation will include companies operating in various sectors such as energy, telecommunications, banking, infrastructure, logistics, food, and pharmaceuticals, among others.

  • How to fix a broken market in antibiotics | Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/06/us-health-antibiotics-insight-idUSKBN0FB0A220140706

    Patrick Vallance, a former academic who now heads up GSK’s pharmaceuticals research, believes a system of advanced market commitments could be the answer, under which governments would agree to buy up new antibiotics for, say, a 10-year period.

    #prix #prizes #recherche #santé #antibiotiques #résitance

  • EU debates biopiracy law to protect indigenous people | Global development | guardian.co.uk
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/may/01/eu-biopiracy-protect-indigenous-people

    The European parliament is debating a draft biopiracy law requiring industry to compensate indigenous people if it makes commercial use of local knowledge such as plant-based medicines.

    Under the law – based on the international convention on access to biodiversity, the Nagoya protocol – the pharmaceuticals industry would need the written consent of local or indigenous people before exploring their region’s genetic resources or making use of their traditional knowhow.

    Relevant authorities would have the power to sanction companies that fail to comply, protecting local interests from the predatory attitude of big European companies.

    #biopiraterie #pharma #peuples_autochtones

  • Blocking Medicine to Iran - NYTimes.com
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/opinion/blocking-medicine-to-iran.html

    Over the past three months, I led a group of independent business consultants with expertise in Iran to evaluate the problem. After conducting extensive interviews in Tehran and Dubai with Iranian importers and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and their Western counterparts, we concluded that even though in theory the sanctions regime imposed on Iran by the United States and the European Union is supposed to allow humanitarian trade, in reality it impairs the delivery of drugs and medical equipment to Iran.

    Although the Iranian government deserves firm criticism for incompetence in handling the crisis, poor allocation of scarce foreign currency resources and failing to crack down on corrupt practices, the main culprit are the U.S. and European sanctions that regulate financial transactions with Iran.

    The system is irrational: There is a blanket waiver to the sanctions to facilitate humanitarian trade, but other laws restricting financial transactions with Iran make it impossible to implement that exception. So the trade of medical supplies is legal in theory and virtually impossible in practice because Iran cannot pay for the Western medicine it needs.

  • Drug-pollution law all washed up : Nature
    http://www.nature.com/news/drug-pollution-law-all-washed-up-1.11854

    la #pilule contraceptive pose des problèmes aux poissons ; l’Europe veut faire un truc

    Europe is set to quash a precedent-setting initiative designed to tackle a disturbing side effect of common drugs — their impact on aquatic life. Nature has learned that landmark regulations intended to clean Europe’s waterways of pharmaceuticals are likely to be dead on arrival when they reach a key vote in the European Parliament next week.

    #chimie #médicaments #santé #environnement

  • Santé Recherche pharmaceutique

    Pharmaceutical research and development: what do we get for all that money? | BMJ

    cc @fil @recifs
    http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4348

    Published 7 August 2012

    Data indicate that the widely touted “innovation crisis” in pharmaceuticals is a myth. The real innovation crisis, say Donald Light and Joel Lexchin, stems from current incentives that reward companies for developing large numbers of new drugs with few clinical advantages over existing ones

    Since the early 2000s, industry leaders, observers, and policy makers have been declaring that there is an innovation crisis in pharmaceutical research. A 2002 front page investigation by the Wall Street Journal reported, “In laboratories around the world, scientists on the hunt for new drugs are coming up dry . . . The $400 billion a year drug industry is suddenly in serious trouble.”1 Four years later, a US Government Accounting Office assessment of new drug development reported that “over the past several years it has become widely recognized throughout the industry that the productivity of its research and development expenditures has been declining.”2 In 2010, Morgan Stanley reported that top executives felt they could not “beat the innovation crisis” and proposed that the best way to deal with “a decade of dismal R&D returns” was for the major companies to stop trying to discover new drugs and buy into discoveries by others.3 Such reports continue and raise the spectre that the pipeline for new drugs will soon run dry and we will be left to the mercies of whatever ills befall us.4

  • Household chemicals possibly causing cancers, fertility problems
    http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=144348

    The significant growth in many human diseases and disorders in recent decades, including breast and prostate cancer, male infertility and diabetes is connected to the rising levels of exposure to mixtures of some chemicals in widespread use, according to a review of recent literature commissioned by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

    Chemicals which disrupt the hormone system – also known as ‘endocrine disrupting chemicals’ (EDCs) – can be found in food, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, household products and cosmetics.

    #chimie #cancer #santé