Apparently the police department in modestly sized Gloucester, Mass., has some pull outside its borders—or at least it knows where to go to exert some pressure on pharmaceutical companies.
Last week, the department, whose efforts to make itself a safe haven for addicts seeking treatment have led to a partnering of treatment centers and police agencies across the country, took to Facebook to urge the public to contact the CEOs of drug companies to “politely ask them what they are doing to address the opioid epidemic in the United States.” The post included contact information and compensation figures for several of the highest-paid pharmaceutical company CEOs.
By week's end, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had contacted the Gloucester department to schedule a meeting. This was announced in another Facebook post, The Boston Globe reported. The post stated in part, “When you continue to make your calls, thank them because they could have ignored us all. Instead, within 48 hours...they responded. … This is not because of us, this is because of YOU.”
The Facebook post also mentioned the continued growth of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI), in which local police departments across the country are pledging not to arrest any addict who comes to the department seeking treatment for drug addiction. More than two dozen treatment centers around the country, including several in Florida, have formally joined the initiative in order to become a destination for referral of such individuals.