Oxycodone is a drug in the opioid family used for the treatment of chronic pain. Until 2019, the drug was marketed in the United States under the name OxyContin, a registered trademark of the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma.

Oxycodone, twice as strong as morphine and with a proven high addictive level, became popular in the United States in the mid-1990s as a common analgesic.

The drug's manufacturer, being aware of the health hazard of its drug, conducted aggressive marketing campaigns - even producing false reports on its addictive impact - to convince doctors to prescribe it indiscriminately to patients.

From 1996 to 2019, OxyContin left more than half a million overdose deaths nationwide.

In those years, the owners of this U.S. pharmaceutical company, the Sackler family, amassed a fortune of an estimated 11 billion dollars.

Today, this drug is credited with being the trigger for the severe opioid epidemic crisis that has been plaguing the U.S. population for more than 20 years.

Dopesick: Story of an Addiction, Danny Strong, 2021. Miniseries based on the book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, by American journalist Beth Macy.

Fentanyl is a drug of the opioid family used for the treatment of chronic pain. In the United States, one of the three main brands that market this drug is Durogesic, a registered trademark of the pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of the multinational pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.
The multinational J&J is number 1 in the world's top 10 most valuable pharmaceutical companies. Its stock market value is 12.8 billion dollars.

Fentanyl, like oxycodone, is a highly addictive synthetic opioid. It is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

Legally the drug is administered in the form of patches, pills or injections. In the USA, its prescription in patches facilitated its widespread use during the 1990s. Little by little, the consumption of this analgesic became normalized thanks to the pressure exerted by the pharmaceutical industry on the US healthcare system, causing millions of people to be exposed to this drug.

There are currently an estimated 5 million people addicted to fentanyl. Three out of four overdose deaths are caused by this drug, 200 deaths per day.

From the 1990s to the present, more Americans have died from opioid overdoses than died from the two world wars and the Vietnam War combined.

Sources. [in Spanish]
National Institute on Drug Abuse.
url: nida.nih.gov/es/publicaciones/drugfacts/el-fentanilo

En La Frontrera. Canal Red Noticias. 26/09/2023
url: ivoox.com/fentanilo-el-nuevo-vietnam-estados-unidos-audios-mp3_rf_116709631_1.html

Periódico digital elordenmundial.com 03/08/23
url: elordenmundial.com/podcasts/no-es-el-fin-del-mundo/la-epidemia-de-fentanilo-en-estados-unidos/

Brand Finance. Brandirectory.
url: brandirectory.com/rankings/pharma/

Methylphenidate is the drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In Spain, Concerta is the main brand that markets this drug. Concerta is a registered trademark of the pharmaceutical company Janssen-Cilag, a subsidiary of the US multinational pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.
The multinational J&J is number 1 in the world's top 10 most valuable pharmaceutical companies. Its stock market value is 12.8 billion dollars.

"Children are mobile and by putting an ADHD label on the whole children's movement we have made ADHD an epidemic.
ADHD cases have multiplied by 30% in recent years in Spain, especially in children aged 8 to 12, because it is overdiagnosed.
In Spain, more than 250,000 children take psychostimulants to combat ADHD.

In countries such as France or Sweden, it is striking that the use of psychostimulants prescribed for ADHD is practically nil, possibly due to the less active presence of the laboratory and drug industry.
On the other hand, in the United States it is even more alarming than in Spain, since in the last decade cases have increased by 53%. This increase has alerted psychiatrists and psychologists in this country, who consider the diagnosis figures to be a national disaster of dangerous proportions.

There are alternatives to medication for ADHD, and psychology[1] should address the problem by redirecting behaviors.
The context of each person should be taken into account and it should be understood that there are reactions that are part of normality, such as a certain rebelliousness in adolescents, nervousness, lack of attention or sadness after experiencing grief processes, separation of parents, tense family climate, sexual abuse..."

José Ramón Ubieto
Psychoanalyst and Professor at the University Oberta of Catalonia, Spain.
Marino Pérez
Professor of Psychology at the University of Oviedo, Spain.

1. In Spain there are 6 psychologists per 100,000 inhabitants, the European average is 18. Mental health professionals in Spain are few, precarious and overwhelmed.

Sources. [in Spanish] 
Periódico lavanguardia.com 28/03/18
url: lavanguardia.com/vida/20180328/442005627790/psicoanalista-jose-ramon-ubieta-hemos-hecho-del-tdah-una-epidemia.html

Periódico digital elDiario.es 08/01/23
url: eldiario.es/sociedad/profesionales-salud-mental-espana-precarios-desbordados_1_9807073.html

Brand Finance. Brandirectory.
url: brandirectory.com/rankings/pharma/

Semaglutide is the drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The trade name of this drug is Ozempic, a registered trademark of the Danish multinational Novo Nordisk. In 2023, this pharmaceutical company has become the second European company by market capitalization, reaching a value of 390 billion euros.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels are too high. Having too much glucose in the blood for a prolonged period of time can cause health problems such as; stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, diabetic neuropathy, sexual dysfunction etc.

This drug, which treats type 2 diabetes, must be prescribed by an endocrinologist and administered by pharmacies upon presentation of the prescription. Its use as prescribed by a medical professional has been shown —in combination with diet and exercise— to provide good control of blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. But a side effect of its use has also come to light: the drug inhibits appetite for long periods of time and promotes weight loss.

This side effect has been popularized by multiple celebrities and influencers, who do not suffer from diabetes or obesity, but who have been promoting its widespread use as a quick weight loss solution since 2022. On Tik Tok the hashtag #Ozempicweightloss/#Ozempicweightloss has 130 million views.
This excessive advertising of Ozempic as a quick weight loss solution has encouraged a gigantic demand for the product, causing worldwide supply chain problems and intermittent shortages.

But how can there be a shortage if Ozempic requires a prescription and pharmacies can only dispense it by prescription?
The cause is that an unknown percentage of physicians are prescribing Ozempic primarily for weight loss and not for diabetes, a phenomenon known as off-label prescribing. In addition, it is thought that there may be pharmacies that are dispensing the drug without a prescription. The sum of both factors complicates access to the drug for millions of diabetics. And let us remember that a long time without treatment for type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as stroke or heart attack.

In the United States, the cost of an Ozempic treatment outside the health insurance coverage can be between 700 and 1500 dollars per month. In Spain, the cost of treatment outside the National Health System is around 130 euros per month.

Francisco Pajuelo, medical director in Spain at Novo Nordisk, anticipates that "this shortage situation will continue throughout 2023."

"The Danish multinational earned between January and August 2023 43% more, and achieved a profit of 5,266 million euros.

Novo Nordisk's dominance in diabetes treatment is being recognized by the market —the stock is trading at record highs, up 37.31% this year—."

Elisa Tasca. Cinco Días Economic Newspaper. 31/08/2023

Sources. [in Spanish] 
Periódico digital elDiario.es 14/12/2022
url: eldiario.es/sociedad/desabastecimiento-ozempic-afan-desmedido-adelgazar-deja-diabeticos-medicamento-esencial_1_9789178.html

Diario Económico Cinco Días. 31/08/2023
url: cincodias.elpais.com/mercados-financieros/2023-08-31/novo-nordisk-la-firma-danesa-que-vale-mas-que-su-pais-y-que-biden-pone-en-la-diana.html

Periódico El País. 09/07/23
url: elpais.com/salud-y-bienestar/2023-07-09/ozempic-la-droga-que-aprieta-cinturones-y-llena-bolsillos.html

Comirnaty was the first vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine was developed and marketed by the U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer in collaboration with the German biotech company BioTech.
The multinational Pfizer is number 3 in the world's top 10 most valuable pharmaceutical companies. Its stock market value is 6.2 billion dollars.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the epidemic of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus was becoming a global pandemic.
Since January of that same year, some scientists knew that it was a pandemic when they observed that the virus, in a few weeks, was spreading uncontrollably throughout East Asia, Southeast Asia and even the Middle East, but they decided not to declare the virus a pandemic.
Between January and March 2020, 118,000 people in 114 countries were infected with Covid-19. Just one year later, more than 117 million people were already infected worldwide.

On November 9, 2020, the U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that it had developed the first vaccine against Covid. Its president, Albert Borla, declared that it was a great day for humanity and for science. That same day, Pfizer's stock market shares soared and Albert Bourla sold 62% of his shares. With this stock market movement, Pfizer's chairman pocketed 5.6 million euros.

On November 18, 2020, Pfizer claimed that its vaccine was already 95% effective and asked the US and EU health authorities for emergency approval to market it, although they admitted that the clinical trials they were conducting would not be completed until 2022.
On December 21, 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended that Pfizer's vaccine be granted conditional authorization. Three and a half hours after the EMA's announcement, the European Commission granted a marketing license for the vaccine.
In April 2021 Pfizer decided to raise the price of the vaccine to the EU by 25%, shortly before the European Commission closed a deal with the company for the acquisition of a second round of vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the vaccine on August 23, 2021.

Between 2020 and 2022 Pfizer earned the highest profits in its history, close to $80 billion.

Currently, the two companies that developed the first Covid vaccine, Pfizer and its German ally BioNTech, are facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit by the German laboratory CureCav for patent infringement.

15 million people died worldwide from the Covid-19 pandemic in its first two years (2020-2021).

Sources. [in Spanish]
Organización Mundial de la Salud, OMS. 27/04/2020
url: who.int/es/news/item/27-04-2020-who-timeline---covid-19

euronews. 11/03/2021
url: es.euronews.com/2021/03/11/hace-un-ano-de-la-declaracion-de-la-pandemia-de-covid-19-actuo-demasiado-tarde-la-oms

Diario Económico Cinco Días.
09/11/2020 url: cincodias.elpais.com/cincodias/2020/11/09/companias/1604923219_444101.html

31/08/2023 url: cincodias.elpais.com/companias/2023-08-31/astrazeneca-pfizer-y-sinovac-ganan-la-batalla-de-las-vacunas-del-covid-19.html

19/05/2023 url: cincodias.elpais.com/companias/2023-05-19/curevac-amplia-su-demanda-contra-pfizer-y-espera-una-compensacion-milmillonaria-por-su-patente-de-la-vacuna-del-covid-19.html?rel=buscador_noticias

Periódico El País.
09/11/2020 url: elpais.com/ciencia/2020-11-09/pfizer-afirma-que-su-vacuna-contra-el-coronavirus-es-un-90-eficaz.html

06/08/2021 url: elpais.com/sociedad/2021-08-01/pfizer-y-moderna-incrementan-el-precio-de-las-vacunas-para-la-union-europea.html?event_log=oklogin

18/11/2020 url: elpais.com/ciencia/2020-11-18/pfizer-anuncia-un-95-de-eficacia-de-su-vacuna-y-solicita-su-aprobacion-de-emergencia.html

Cadena Ser. 12/11/2020
url: cadenaser.com/programa/2020/11/12/hora_25/1605170662_853649.html

Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios, AEMPS. 21/12/2020
url: aemps.gob.es/informa/la-ema-recomienda-la-autorizacion-de-la-primera-vacuna-frente-a-la-covid-19/#

Periódico Digital elDiario.es 21/12/2020
url: eldiario.es/internacional/agencia-europea-medicamento-vacuna-pfizer_1_6521078.html

Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de los EE UU. (FDA, por sus siglas en inglés). 23/08/2021
url: fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/la-fda-aprueba-la-primera-vacuna-contra-el-covid-19

Organización Mundial de la Salud, OMS.
url: un.org/es/desa/las-muertes-por-covid-19-sumarian-15-millones-entre-2020-y-2021

Brand Finance. Brandirectory.
url: brandirectory.com/rankings/pharma/

Diazepam is a psychopharmaceutical used to treat anxiety states.
In Spain, Valium is the main brand that markets this drug. Valium is a registered trademark of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche.
The multinational Roche is number 2 in the world's top 10 most valuable pharmaceutical companies. Its stock market value is 8.5 billion dollars.

In the latest 2020 report conducted by the International Narcotics Control Agency[1], it found —with available data from 2019, pre-pandemic data— that Spain is the first country in the world in consumption of anxiolytics. Its consumption is 91 daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants. One in ten people take this type of psychopharmaceuticals daily.

The massive prescription of benzodiazepines is a consequence of the deterioration of Spanish public health care.
Primary care physicians, overwhelmed by the number of patients they have to see on a daily basis, prescribe tranquilizers to 90% of anxiety cases without referring them to mental health specialists.

Antonio Cano Vindel, Professor of Psychology at the Complutense University and President of the Spanish Society for the Study of Anxiety and Stress, conducted a clinical trial in 22 health centers in 8 autonomous communities with more than 1,000 patients with anxiety and found that 70% of those who received psychological care stopped suffering from anxiety. This percentage is much higher than those patients who were only treated with anxiolytics, where their recovery rate was only 20%.

In Spain, the ratio of psychologists per population is 6 per 100,000 inhabitants. The European average is 18. Mental health professionals in Spain —as well as primary care physicians— are few, precarious and overwhelmed.

In the workplace, 10% of the world's population suffers from emotional exhaustion due to chronic stress at work. This health problem is known as "burnout or burned-out worker syndrome". This occupational disease can trigger anxiety disorders and depression.
In Spain, in 2020 almost 68% of the working population showed symptoms of anxiety. The consumption of anxiolytics and antidepressants increased by 5% over the previous year and had peaks of up to 14% during the confinement due to the SARS-CoV-2 viral pandemic.

"Capitalism needs productive bodies and minds. The physical and mental illnesses derived from the system itself that incapacitate bodies to produce are regulated by medication so that bodies do not cease in their constant and exponential production."[2]

1. The International Narcotics Control Agency is an independent international body responsible for monitoring the control of drugs for medical use and monitoring their consumption.
The International Narcotics Control Agency is an agency of the World Health Organization.

2. Ester Jornada, Manual to govern populations. Biopolitics and governmentality. Course: Michel Foucault. Four readings on biopolitics, social control, police and illegalisms. Common Notions, Experimental University of Madrid, Spain.

Sources. [in Spanish] 
Periódico Público. 10/04/2021
url: publico.es/sociedad/ansioliticos-espana-espana-pais-mundo-toman-tranquilizantes.html

Periódico elDiario.es 08/01/23
url: eldiario.es/sociedad/profesionales-salud-mental-espana-precarios-desbordados_1_9807073.html

Periódico EL Salto Diario 02/06/2022
url: elsaltodiario.com/salud-mental/cgt-considera-prioritario-sindrome-burnout-enfermedad-profesional

Periódico El País.
28/05/2019 url: elpais.com/sociedad/2019/05/27/actualidad/1558956228_933147.html

14/04/2021 url: elpais.com/economia/2021/04/13/actualidad/1618348161_545921.html

Nociones Comunes, Universidad Experimental de Madrid.
url: traficantes.net/nociones-comunes/michel-foucault

Brand Finance. Brandirectory.
url: brandirectory.com/rankings/pharma/

Fluoxetine is a psychopharmaceutical used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and panic attacks. In Spain, Prozac is the main brand that markets this drug. Prozac is a registered trademark of the pharmaceutical company Lilly.
The multinational Lilly is number 9 in the world's top 10 most valuable pharmaceutical companies. Its stock market value is 3.9 billion dollars.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the mental health of the Spanish population has been progressively deteriorating.
In the study The mental health situation in Spain carried out between May and August 2022 by the Confederación Salud Mental España and the Fundación Mutua Madrileña, it is concluded that 4 out of 10 Spaniards claim not to be in good mental health and 15% have thought about suicide.
The young population is the most affected, in the report of April 7, 2022 by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, it is stated that the pandemic has caused an increase of 47% of mental health disorders.
Adolescents present more anxiety, depressive symptoms, self-harm and suicidal behaviors. Among young people between 15 and 29 years of age, suicide is already the second leading cause of death.

The State of the World's Children 2021 report by Unicef states that Spain is the European country where adolescents suffer the greatest mental health problems.
The Unicef report highlights anxiety and depression as the most common diseases among European adolescents, being present in 55% of the population aged 10 to 19 years. This percentage rises to 70% in young girls.

17.4% of the Spanish population has been diagnosed at some time with a mental health problem.

18.9% of the Spanish population regularly consumes a psychotropic drug, with anxiolytics and antidepressants being the most commonly consumed.

In Spain, the ratio of psychologists per population is 6 per 100,000 inhabitants. The European average is 18. Mental health professionals in Spain are few, precarious and overwhelmed.

Sources. [in Spanish]
Periódico El País. 14/03/2023
url: elpais.com/sociedad/2023-03-14/cuatro-de-cada-10-espanoles-aseguran-que-no-gozan-de-buena-salud-mental-y-un-15-ha-pensado-en-el-suicidio.html

Asociación Española de Pediatría. 07/04/2022
url: aeped.es/noticias/pandemia-ha-provocado-un-aumento-hasta-47-en-los-trastornos-salud-mental-en-los-menores

Newtral. 05/10/2021
url: newtral.es/salud-mental-adolescentes-unicef-depresion-ansiedad/20211005/

Periódico elDiario.es 08/01/23
url: eldiario.es/sociedad/profesionales-salud-mental-espana-precarios-desbordados_1_9807073.html

Brand Finance. Brandirectory.
url: brandirectory.com/rankings/pharma/

World Health Organization, WHO.
The directing and coordinating authority on international health matters within the United Nations (UN) system.
Its goal is to build a better and healthier future for people around the world.
Source: who.int

Food and Drug Administration, FDA.
State agency of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States Government.
Responsible for drug regulation. Its mission is to protect and promote public health.
Source: fda.gov

Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products.
State agency attached to the Ministry of Health of the Spanish Government.
Responsible for guaranteeing the quality, safety, efficacy and correct information of medicines, in the interest of protecting and promoting people's health.
Source: aemps.gob.es


Champions League, 2023.

Work made specifically for the group show "I don't believe". Fifteen artists were invited to reflect on the relationship between capitalism, science and dogma.

The exhibition took place at the "Secuencia de Inútiles" art space from November 17 to 29, 2023. The show was curated by the collective of artists and university professors administrators of the now defunct self-managed art space ABM Confecciones.

As if it were a sports jersey full of sponsoring brands, the artist presented an proposal that showed a doctor's/scientist's gown printed with the logos of some of the main pharmaceutical multinationals.

With this work, the author invites us to think about the collision that occurs when today's fast-paced capitalism focuses its speculative activity on medical science.

In our current neoliberal economic system, when the main objective of any company (to obtain maximum profit) impacts with the main objective of medicine (to cure disease), what can go wrong?

To download the text of the exhibition click here. [text in Spanish]

This text has been automatically translated by the Deepl app. Due to the nuances of automatic translation, there may be slight differences.