Arizona Attorney General moves against Purdue Pharma

Desiree Burns
September 12, 2018

Richard Sackler, whose family owns OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, is one of six inventors behind a new medication that could help people get off drugs including opioids. However, some are expressing outrage that the Sacklers, who have in essence profited from opioid addictions, may soon be profiting from the antidote. In addition, Colorado's attorney general is now suing Purdue Pharma for its apparent role in boosting the opioid crisis, sources say. More than 63,000 people in the US died from drug overdoses in 2016, of which 66 percent were related to opioid use.

The lawsuit claims that Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma Inc. misled doctors and patients in Colorado about the potential for addiction with prescription opioids and continued to push the drugs. Additionally, earlier this year, the company made it public that they planned to stop promoting the pain drug.

"It's reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health", Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, a New York-based treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction, told the Financial Times.

Last month VTDigger reported that Purdue Pharma had given a $1,000 contribution to Scott's campaign that led Terje Anderson, the chair of the Vermont Democratic Party to say that Scott "might as well accept money from a drug dealer on the corner". He adds that Sackler's family "shouldn't be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates-and that includes opioid substitutes". The new patent statement does recognize the danger of chemical dependence involved with the widespread patient use of opioids such as OxyContin, says The Washington Post.

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More than 3,000 New Yorkers died of opioid overdoses in 2016.

Purdue Pharma's formulation is reportedly a new version of a methadone-alternative, Suboxone, owned by the British pharmaceutical company Indivior.

Rhodes Pharma is of one of the largest creators of off-patent generic opioids.

Wilson also previously told VTDigger that Purdue needs to be "part of the solution" to cure the opioid crisis and the company is "supporting candidates who are taking prevention, treatment and enforcement seriously".

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