This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Hello and welcome. I'm Dr George Lundberg and this is At Large at Medscape.

Because big money so thoroughly influences the creation and enforcement of the laws in many countries, I have to continue to relate back to my late father, who was a poor music teacher in lower Alabama. He said that there must be a special place in hell for those humans who do dastardly deeds and are never brought to earthly justice.

In southern California in the 1970s, in drug lectures [I delivered in places ranging from] middle schools in Pasadena to traffic court in Santa Monica to Dry Dock #1 at Long Beach Naval Hospital, I typically ranted about the "pious pushers" of the medical, advertising, and pharmaceutical industries hawking Valium, Librium, and like agents to a frail, gullible public.

I could never have predicted just how bad it would become. The Brooklyn Sackler brothers (Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond), all now deceased, were physicians who became very rich from drugs. Arthur, the eldest, was a creative marketing genius who virtually invented modern medical marketing and media, for which he has been duly honored.

Arthur learned how to influence physicians to prescribe specific drugs via advertising and promotion, and was wildly successful. Every physician reading this has been influenced by modern versions of his marketing methods.

Little did I realize in the 1970s that my income from the American Medical Association from 1982 to 1999 would indirectly come mostly from medical journal advertising, largely influenced by methods of Arthur Sackler. The medical profession and the government regulators who recognized the perfidious nature of prescription drug promotion were no match for this money-driven industry.

Then came OxyContin and Purdue Pharma, largely creatures of legal drug–lord brothers Mortimer and Raymond and their progeny. Medical marketing ran amok; an impotent medical and pharmaceutical profession, state and federal legislatures, and the FDA were unwilling or unable to stem the obvious tide.

Then the roof fell in, especially on poor, white Americans. The inside story is being revealed primarily by court documents, case by case and decade by decade.

The delicious irony is that the trial of the notorious illegal-drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera, also known as El Chapo, is being held in Brooklyn. Recent witness testimony revealed payment of huge sums ($100 million) to at least one recent Mexican president to keep the drugs flowing, especially into the USA.

It is impossible to accurately calculate how much money has been made and how many Americans have been killed by the drug-pushing efforts of many Sacklers and El Chapo. Body counts in the many hundreds of thousands lie at the feet of both cartels, legal and illegal.

By most accounts, at least El Chapo apparently never had the gall to pose as a "pious pusher," washing away past sins by way of generous philanthropy.

It won't work. Welcome to your special place in hell.

That's my opinion. I'm Dr George Lundberg and this is At Large at Medscape.

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