One Minute Of Truth With A Pseudoephedrine Manufacturer
on 7/6/2005 (2)
In a rare, candid, unplugged interview with pharmaceutical giant Warren-Lamden spokesman Victor Bouges, Bouges has agreed to tell the truth to any questions asked to him for exactly one minute.
Smooth Op: "Good morning Mr. Bouges. As per our arrangement, you have agreed to tell the truth to any questions asked to you for one minute. Are you good to go?"
Bouges: "Yes, let's do it."
Smooth Op: "It's becoming increasingly clear that methamphetamine is becoming the street drug of choice in America. Since meth can only be produced with pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in dozens of your over-the-counter cold remedies, do you feel a sense of responsibility for the meth plague?
Bouges: (laughs) "What do you think? I was at least expecting some intelligent questions. Of course. We are fully and intricately in tune with the meth dilemma, and have a strictly self invested stance on the matter. If you do meth, you're buying our cold products, right? Do you know how much money Warren-Lamden and its overseas patent affiliates made on pseudoephedrine manufacturing and distribution last year? It's measured in the billions of dollars. We simply cannot afford to let ourselves get dragged into a philosophical debate as to whether we are culpable for meth production or not. After all, we're getting as rich as King Solomon off of the stuff.
Smooth Op: "Do you have a conscience? This seems almost mad, Machiavellian, in fact..."
Bouges: "I'm going to throw you a porcupine: Did you know that in 2002 it was estimated that 30 million Americans abused narcotic prescription pain killers of some kind in their lives? Narcotics are the biggest money maker in the drug business. We've got pseudoephedrine, and so what? When a doctor prescribes pain killers to a patient, he has to assume the patient is in earnest, and will not abuse the drug. We assume the same thing. We make our cold medications for colds, not as a core chemical for basement bomber meth heads."
Smooth Op: "That seems absurd. If pseudoephedrine is made illegal, wouldn't that snuff the problem decisively at the supply side?"
Bouges: (laughs again) "Of course. It would knock it out cold, so to speak. Pseudoephedrine can't be synthesized in a garage like the end product (meth) can. But I can't, and won't, let that happen. I owe it to my shareholders. I have to feed my kids too, you know. There are billions at stake here, and I have more than a few prominent Republican lobbyist friends in D.C that are more than willing to agree with me. Out of the question. As long as Americans get colds we will make pseudoephedrine."
Smooth Op: "Well our minute is almost up. Tell me one last thing, are pseudoephedrine OTC products really effective, or even necessary, in treating common cold symptoms?"
Bouges: "Oh Christ, no. It does have a measurable decongestant affect, but so what? How long does a lousy cold last anyway? A few days? Any ethical doctor will tell you the best cure for a common cold is chicken soup...which means take nothing. People got along just fine without cold medicines for millenia. The truth be known, as long as there is the placebo affect, we will have a market."
Smooth Op: "Our time is up. Care for some chicken soup before you go?"
Bouges: "I'll take a raincheck. Thanks for your time."
Smooth Op: "Thank you."
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