Creepy drug company dumped opioids into Washington state black market

❝ After spending millions to combat the opioid epidemic ravaging its citizens, the working-class city of Everett, Washington, is taking the maker of opioid painkiller OxyContin to federal court. The city claims that the drug maker, Purdue Pharma, knowingly sold to black markets out of pure greed, enabling the devastating epidemic hitting Everett and the rest of the country.

❝ …Everett accuses Purdue Pharma of “knowingly, recklessly, and/or negligently supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market, including to drug rings, pill mills, and other dealers for dispersal of the highly addictive pills in Everett.” Purdue’s goal, Everett alleges, was to “generate enormous profits” at the expense of the people of Everett.

❝ …In 2007, the infamous drug maker and three of its executives pled guilty in federal court and paid out $634.5 million in fines for purposefully misleading regulators, doctors, and patients about the addictiveness of their opioid painkiller. Around the same time, Purdue was also sued by several states, including Washington, over similar allegations. Purdue agreed to a $19.5 million multi-state settlement. And in 2015, Purdue settled a case with Kentucky, agreeing to pay $24 million…

In other words, criminal behavior ain’t anything new for these creeps.

10 thoughts on “Creepy drug company dumped opioids into Washington state black market

  1. J.P. says:

    A pharma company that spent $500,000 trying to keep pot illegal just got DEA approval for synthetic marijuana https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/24/a-pharma-company-that-spent-500000-trying-to-keep-pot-illegal-just-got-dea-approval-for-synthetic-marijuana/ Insys is also the subject of numerous state and federal criminal investigations, as well as a shareholder lawsuit, over its aggressive marketing of a product containing the potent and deadly opioid painkiller fentanyl. In December, the FBI arrested the company’s former chief executive and five other executives on charges that they “paid kickbacks and committed fraud to sell a highly potent and addictive opioid that can lead to abuse and life threatening respiratory depression.” In addition to its synthetic marijuana products, Insys is also developing a drug to treat opioid overdose.
    See also https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2016/07/pot_prescriptions4.png&w=1484

  2. Murder will out says:

    McCaskill investigating opioid producers http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/326086-mccaskill-investigating-opioid-producers Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Tuesday her office has asked Purdue, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Insys, Mylan and Depomed to turn over internal studies that projected the risks of misuse, abuse or addiction to the powerful painkillers. McCaskill’s office said it will investigate whether those manufacturers have contributed to the growing opioid epidemic that has claimed nearly 200,000 lives in the last 15 years.

  3. Family values says:

    “Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate : A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/health/sacklers-purdue-oxycontin-opioids.html
    “Damning court docs show just how far Sacklers went to push OxyContin : Secretive, wealthy Sackler family is at the heart of the opioid crisis, lawsuit alleges.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/01/family-behind-oxycontin-called-addicts-criminals-while-pushing-pills/
    “Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic,” the [Massachusetts] attorney general’s office alleges in a memorandum released Tuesday. “They hired hundreds of workers to carry out their wishes and they fired those who did not sell enough drugs. They got more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before. They paid themselves billions of dollars. They are responsible for addiction, overdose and death that damaged millions of lives.” (Maura Healy, Massachusetts Attorney General) https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-purdue-pharma-democratic-donations-20190118-fcvxequuozdgvkrnek4tbex5jq-story.html

  4. Hey, Rube! says:

    “Opioids: Boston trial opens what could be year of reckoning for executives : John Kapoor and Insys Therapeutics Inc effectively bribed doctors to prescribe an addictive fentanyl spray, assistant US attorney said” (Guardian UK 1/31/19) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/31/john-kapoor-insys-trial-opioids-crisis
    “A ProPublica report claims Purdue Pharma, accused of helping engineer and profit from the opioid epidemic, also considered expanding into addiction treatment. The article is purportedly based on redacted parts of a lawsuit filed by the state of Massachusetts against Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family. Purdue says it will continue to defend itself.” (CBS News 1/31/19)
    ProPublica (1/30/19): “OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive” Anti-Addiction Market : Secret portions of a lawsuit allege that Purdue Pharma, controlled by the Sackler family, considered capitalizing on the addiction treatment boom — while going to extreme lengths to boost sales of its controversial opioid.” https://www.propublica.org/article/oxycontin-purdue-pharma-massachusetts-lawsuit-anti-addiction-market

  5. Update says:

    Sackler behind OxyContin fraud offered twisted, mind-boggling defense : First, maybe only, deposition of a Sackler offers rare glimpse into their thinking. (Ars Technica 2/22/19) https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/02/sackler-behind-oxycontin-fraud-offered-twisted-mind-boggling-defense/ Richard Sackler turned to verbal acrobatics and leaps in logic to try to dodge blame in the fraudulent marketing of Purdue’s potent opioid, OxyContin. The contorted explanations—which at points involved creating new definitions of words and claiming an enigmatic level of politeness—were first unveiled Thursday, February 21 from a sealed, 337-page deposition obtained by ProPublica.
    See also “Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows : As OxyContin addiction spurred a national nightmare, a member of the family that has reaped billions of dollars from the painkiller boasted that sales exceeded his “fondest dreams,” according to a secret court document obtained by ProPublica.” https://www.propublica.org/article/richard-sackler-oxycontin-oxycodone-strength-conceal-from-doctors-sealed-testimony
    Aug. 28, 2015, deposition of Richard Sackler. Taken as part of a lawsuit by the state of Kentucky against Purdue Pharma. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5745212-Deposition.html

  6. Update says:

    A group made up of more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes across the United States has filed a massive lawsuit accusing members of the Sackler family, who own the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, of helping to create “the worst drug crisis in American history”. The lawsuit represents communities in 26 states and eight tribes and accuses Sackler family members of knowingly breaking laws in order to enrich themselves to the tune of billions of dollars, while hundreds of thousands of Americans died. “Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic,” the lawsuit, filed earlier this week in federal court in the southern district of New York, states. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/21/sackler-family-500-cities-counties-and-tribes-sue-oxycontin-maker
    The House Oversight and Reform Committee is seeking documents from Purdue Pharma related to how the Sackler family aggressively marketed OxyContin, a powerful painkiller that has been blamed for its role in the national opioid crisis. https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/435175-oversight-committee-seeks-purdue-oxycontin-documents
    In a letter to Purdue’s president and CEO, Craig Landau, Oversight committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) asked for a list of all members of the Sackler family who had served on the board of Purdue or worked as company officers.
    They also asked for all documents prepared for the Sackler family about the company’s sales and marketing strategy for OxyContin. See letter https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-03-21.EEC%20DeSaulnier%20to%20Landau-Purdue.pdf

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