Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said the attitude is consistent with how the family and Purdue Pharma disregarded people in their “blind pursuit of profit.” More details about both the family and the company are emerging in court.
The Associated Press: Emails: Purdue Executive Cast Blame On Opioid Victims
A member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, cast blame on victims of the opioid epidemic in nearly 20-year-old emails, saying “abusers aren’t victims,” according to a court filing announced Tuesday in Connecticut. The emails from Richard Sackler were made public through a complaint brought by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, one of about 2,000 lawsuits that have been filed around the country against the Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant. (Melia and Mulvihill, 5/7)
The Wall Street Journal: Sacklers Discussed Selling Purdue In 2000
Members of the billionaire Sackler family, who own OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, discussed selling the company in 2000, according to a court filing made public on Tuesday. It is unknown what prompted the discussion, and the Sacklers never sold their stake. The new details emerged in portions of a complaint previously filed by Connecticut by Attorney General William Tong against the company and certain family members. The lawsuit is one of more than 1,600 from cities, counties and states against Purdue and other companies for their alleged role in sparking the opioid crisis through deceptive and aggressive marketing. (Hopkins, 5/7)
In other news on the opioid crisis —
The Associated Press: Louisiana Tests Unapproved Anti-Addiction Implant On Inmates
Some Louisiana inmates struggling with opioid addictions may soon find themselves sporting addiction fighting implants that haven’t yet been approved by federal regulators. The Advocate reports prison officials announced the pilot program last week and the first implant was inserted Wednesday. Officials say the surgical implant releases the opioid and alcohol addiction fighting drug naltrexone and is slowly metabolized by the body over several months. (5/8)
The Associated Press: Electronic Implants Studied For Treatment Of Drug Addition
Patient Number One is a thin man, with a scabby face and bouncy knees. His head, shaved in preparation for surgery, is wrapped in a clean, white cloth. Years of drug use cost him his wife, his money and his self-respect, before landing him in this drab yellow room at a Shanghai hospital, facing the surgeon who in 72 hours will drill two small holes in his skull and feed electrodes deep into his brain. (5/7)
Stat: California Cites Cardinal Health For Shipments To Dead Pharmacist
As the opioid crisis continues unabated, California authorities are taking one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers to task for failing to oversee shipments of controlled substances, including instances where deliveries were accepted by a pharmacist — who was already dead. In a March 1 complaint that was posted late last month on its website, the California Board of Pharmacy accused Cardinal Health (CAH) of delivering controlled substances to Lane Medical Pharmacy, where at times, someone other than the licensed pharmacist signed for the shipments. (Silverman, 5/7)
CQ: Lawmakers Aim To Double Down With More Opioids Legislation
Lawmakers are showing renewed interest in continuing bipartisan work to combat the opioid epidemic, less than a year after the president signed a legislative package into law. While the law focuses on various aspects of the crisis such as curbing prescription drug abuse, new efforts would double down on policies to curb illegal fentanyl use and authorize additional funding. (Raman, 5/8)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Source : Kaiser Health