Purdue Pharma Settlement: Sackler Family Has Little Price to Pay for Big Damages and Dissolves
Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer
Are you affected by the opioid crisis? Have you struggled with substance abuse disorder? Or maybe a close family member or a friend has experienced substance abuse problems.
Considering the statistics, it seems almost impossible to avoid the opioid crisis, whether you are directly affected or close to someone who is affected.
Some sobering statistics about opioids in the United States:1,2
Since 1999, over 760,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
In 2018, 10.3 million adults misused opioids (this number includes both prescription opioids and heroin).
In 2018, 128 people died in the US every day due to opioid overdose.
Also, in 2018, 2 out of every 3 overdose deaths involved an opioid.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total ‘economic burden’ of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.”2
We have talked about the opioid crisis several times over the past year, including:
New Jersey on track to hit a record number of overdose deaths in 2020
Increasing opioid use during COVID-19
Another story we have been following is the Purdue Pharma lawsuit. Purdue is the manufacturer of narcotic pain medication OxyContin. The Sackler family, founder and owner of Purdue Pharma, has been under scrutiny for pushing their popular opioid painkiller, even though they knew it was addictive and deadly. The family is involved in over 2,600 lawsuits, alleging they helped fuel the opioid crisis.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced a settlement, which has enraged many. There is no prison time in store for Sackler family members or any Purdue Pharma officials at this time. (However, other investigations are ongoing which may result in criminal prosecution.)
The settlement is valued at over $8.3 billion and would restructure the company, which entered bankruptcy in 2019. The terms of the settlement mean that Purdue would operate as a public trust under government control. And they would still manufacturer deadly opioids.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has sued the Sackler family, reacted to this settlement in a written statement:
“While our country continues to recover from the pain and destruction left by the Sacklers’ greed, this family has attempted to evade responsibility and lowball the millions of victims of the opioid crisis. Today’s deal doesn’t account for the hundreds of thousands of deaths or millions of addictions caused by Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.”3
She continues that the settlement “allows billionaires to keep their billions without any accounting for how much they really made. From the beginning, we’ve aimed to unearth how much the Sacklers actually profited and how much they continue to hide away. While no amount of money can ever compensate the pain that so many now know, we will continue to litigate our case through the courts to secure every cent we can to limit future opioid addictions. We are committed to holding the Sacklers and others responsible for the role they played in fueling the opioid crisis.”3
MyCureAll agrees with James’ statement. Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family must be held accountable for all of the damages they have caused in terms of addictions and lives – money is the least of the damages when we take lives and all those affected into account.
Elaine Richer, RPh, CEO of MyCureAll, says, “ Our company was created to help provide additional services and care for our friends, family and patients that continue to be affected by the opioid epidemic by providing additional Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with medicinal cannabis”.
MyCureAll is working on battling the opioid crisis with medical marijuana. Patients who use medical cannabis or CBD oil have had success in treating conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, headaches, pain, and many other conditions.
In fact, medical cannabis is a natural way to avoid deadly opioids such as OxyContin. Our unique tools help patients find the strains of medical cannabis that work best. Many patients are able to taper down to a lower dose of pain medications, or even taper off opioids by using medical cannabis.
Opioid Crisis Statistics. Health and Human Services Website. https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/opioid-crisis-statistics/index.html#:~:text=In%202018%2C%20an%20estimated%2010.3,and%20808%2C000%20people%20used%20heroin.&text=Appropriate%20prescribing%20of%20opioids%20is,and%20safety%20of%20Medicare%20beneficiaries. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Opioid Overdose Crisis. National Institute on Drug Abuse Website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis#:~:text=2018%20data%20shows%20that%20every,die%20after%20overdosing%20on%20opioids.&text=The%20misuse%20of%20and%20addiction,as%20social%20and%20economic%20welfare. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Purdue Pharma Reaches $8B Opioid Deal With Justice Department Over OxyContin Sales. NPR Website. https://www.npr.org/2020/10/21/926126877/purdue-pharma-reaches-8b-opioid-deal-with-justice-department-over-oxycontin-sale Accessed October 23, 2020.
The MyCureAll app provides a platform for targeted cannabis recommendations for cannabinoids that treat specific conditions and lower healthcare costs. As experts in the pharmaceutical and medical cannabis field, our mission is to properly, consistently, and effectively manage medical cannabis administration by aligning patients, doctors, dispensaries, and insurers to work hand-in-hand for safer and more effective healthcare.
We promise to provide our patients with the highest ethical level of care. We will never charge patients for our services, and we will fight the insurance companies for you! We are on your side.
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Visit ShopMyCureAll.com! We have a wide variety THC-free CBD oil and topicals for all of your needs. Our CBD oils are pharmacist-formulated and extensively tested for purity.
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