In a rare turn of events, Washington State has decided to move away from proposed settlements with pharma giants and instead take several corporations to trial for the role they played in creating the opioid epidemic.
For anyone touched by America’s opioid epidemic and anyone who has followed the development of this crisis, as I have, Patrick Radden Keefe’s new book adds to our knowledge of the steps that must be taken to heal from our crisis of drugs abuse and overdoses.
The Sackler Family and Purdue Pharmaceuticals deny any responsibility for the role they played in creating the opioid addiction epidemic. And while the most recent litigation against Purdue/the Sackler family ended in immunity for them and an abdication of responsibility, it wasn't too long ago that Purdue was pleading guilty to federal felony charges relating to the opioid crisis.
Several major pharma litigations are currently making their way through U.S. courts. One such case just came to a close, unfortunately releasing several pharma giants from all legal liability regarding their role in the devastating opioid epidemic.
New Developments in the Sackler Case Suggest More Needs to be Done to Hold Pharma Magnates Accountable
In the late-1990s and early-2000s, pharmaceutical manufacturers like Purdue Pharma aggressively marketed addictive drugs such as OxyContin, pushing doctors to prescribe them. Today, though it’s known that these companies helped create America’s opioid epidemic, the owners of the companies appear poised to escape accountability.
While America has been preoccupied with other situations, our drug overdose losses have kept mounting. Using statistics published by the CDC we can calculate the date on which America passed a horrific milestone: 100,000 overdoses losses in one twelve-month period.
The litigation of Purdue Pharma/the Sacklers is now over. One of the key aspects of the case that deserves full scrutiny is that Purdue’s owners threatened to withdraw settlement funds if they did not achieve personal immunity. In the end, they won.
The Sackler Case Comes to a Close; Final Analysis and the Importance of Holding Pharma Companies Accountable
Consider this: Purdue Pharmaceuticals/the Sacklers versus thousands of plaintiffs nationwide. It was one of the most closely watched pharmaceutical litigations of our time, and it just came to a close. While there were some small victories in the case, many see its outcome as a loss for those who suffered at the hands of Purdue’s addictive opioid painkiller, OxyContin.
Forty-seven U.S. States have filed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, requesting a total of $2.2 trillion dollars as compensation for Purdue’s contributions to the opioid epidemic. Is this a fair number?
It matters how businesses make their money. For Purdue Pharma, this multi-billion dollar corporation is being shut down due to the deaths caused by its frontline product, OxyContin. But is shutting the company down enough?