Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#1

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm

https://www.countable.us/articles/4485- ... ire-family
Lawsuit Targets Opioid Empire Family

This week, Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against the executives of the company that produces the prescription painkiller OxyContin for their role in allegedly creating the opioid epidemic. The lawsuit names Purdue Pharma, along with 16 current and former directors and executives, including CEO Craig Landau and members of the Sackler family, which owns the company.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants deceived patients and doctors about the risks of opioids, pushed prescribers to keep patients on the drugs longer, and aggressively targeted vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and veterans. Additionally:

“Purdue Pharma created the epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit… Purdue peddled falsehoods to keep patients away from safer alternatives. Even when Purdue knew people were addicted and dying, Purdue treated patients and their doctors as ‘targets’ to sell more drugs. At the top of Purdue, a small group of executives led the deception and pocketed millions of dollars.”

In May 2018, the New York Times reported on a confidential Justice Department report that found “Purdue Pharma was aware early on that OxyContin was being crushed and snorted for its powerful narcotic, but continued to promote it as less addictive.”
The Complaint, including exhibits is 63 pages.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#2

Post by Mikedunford » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:51 pm

If it takes you nearly 250 paragraphs to get to your actual causes of action, you probably haven't produced a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#3

Post by NMgirl » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:57 pm

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
https://www.countable.us/articles/4485- ... ire-family
Lawsuit Targets Opioid Empire Family

:snippity:
The Complaint, including exhibits is 63 pages.
The Sacklers have killed thousands of vulnerable people. It remains to be seen whether justice will be done; but at least their name and their shame are now being revealed to the public.



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#4

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:12 pm

NMgirl wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:57 pm
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
https://www.countable.us/articles/4485- ... ire-family
Lawsuit Targets Opioid Empire Family

:snippity:
The Complaint, including exhibits is 63 pages.
The Sacklers have killed thousands of vulnerable people. It remains to be seen whether justice will be done; but at least their name and their shame are now being revealed to the public.
My mother was a victim of opioids in her 80's! Thankfully a neurologist realized what was happening. She stopped taking them and her chronic pain went away.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#5

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:36 pm

This is from a Connecticut case.

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticu ... story.html
Judge dismisses cities’ lawsuits against Purdue Pharma; state’s case remains intact

A state judge has dismissed a series of lawsuits brought by 37 cities and towns against OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma and other drug companies, saying they failed to prove the firms were directly responsible for the costly medical and social needs of addicts.

The decision doesn’t affect the state’s recently filed lawsuit against Purdue Pharma of Stamford, or cases filed in other states.

The cities were suing to recover costs, while the state’s case rests on consumer-protection grounds -- that Purdue Pharma, for example, deceived doctors about the addictive power of the drug, and rewarded it sales team for racking up OxyContin prescriptions even as overdose deaths increased.

Moukawsher noted the successful federal prosecution of Purdue Pharma, which was based grounds similar to the state’s case, but said the cities, in suing to recover money, had to prove direct financial harm.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#6

Post by MN-Skeptic » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:04 am

Two articles and a recently released deposition re OxyContin published by ProPublica:

What You Should Know About Richard Sackler’s Long-Sought Deposition

Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows

Deposition

The first paragraphs of the 2nd article:
In May 1997, the year after Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin, its head of sales and marketing sought input on a key decision from Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls the company. Michael Friedman told Sackler that he didn’t want to correct the false impression among doctors that OxyContin was weaker than morphine, because the myth was boosting prescriptions — and sales.

“It would be extremely dangerous at this early stage in the life of the product,” Friedman wrote to Sackler, “to make physicians think the drug is stronger or equal to morphine….We are well aware of the view held by many physicians that oxycodone [the active ingredient in OxyContin] is weaker than morphine. I do not plan to do anything about that.”

“I agree with you,” Sackler responded. “Is there a general agreement, or are there some holdouts?”

Ten years later, Purdue pleaded guilty in federal court to understating the risk of addiction to OxyContin, including failing to alert doctors that it was a stronger painkiller than morphine, and agreed to pay $600 million in fines and penalties. But Sackler’s support of the decision to conceal OxyContin’s strength from doctors — in email exchanges both with Friedman and another company executive — was not made public.

The email threads were divulged in a sealed court document that ProPublica has obtained: an Aug. 28, 2015, deposition of Richard Sackler. Taken as part of a lawsuit by the state of Kentucky against Purdue, the deposition is believed to be the only time a member of the Sackler family has been questioned under oath about the illegal marketing of OxyContin and what family members knew about it. Purdue has fought a three-year legal battle to keep the deposition and hundreds of other documents secret, in a case brought by STAT, a Boston-based health and medicine news organization; the matter is currently before the Kentucky Supreme Court.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#7

Post by kate520 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:30 am

:madguy: :twisted: :torches: :cussing:

At least, when nothing comes from this case (goddam I’m cynical) the truth is out there. Billionaires always seem to skate.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#8

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:39 am

kate520 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:30 am
:madguy: :twisted: :torches: :cussing:

At least, when nothing comes from this case (goddam I’m cynical) the truth is out there. Billionaires always seem to skate.
https://www.diffen.com/difference/OxyCo ... _Oxycodone
OxyContin vs. Oxycodone

The active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone but OxyContin (a brand name derived from "oxycodone continuous") has a time-release mechanism, which means the drug is released in the body over a period of time and patients have to take the drug less often. Regular oxycodone is an immediate-release drug, an opiod narcotic painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain.

In his research paper The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Commercial Triumph, Public Health Tragedy, Dr. Art Van Zee writes that Purdue, the manufacturer of OxyContin, systematically and deliberately underrepresented the risk of addiction with OxyContin in an effort to boost sales, especially for non-cancer-related chronic pain.

In 2007, Purdue and 3 of its executives pled guilty to criminal charges of misbranding OxyContin by claiming that it was less addictive and less subject to abuse and diversion than other opioids. They were fined $634 million. They also paid over $19 million to a group of states and in 2015 Purdue paid $24 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by the state of Kentucky.

In August 2017, South Carolina sued Purdue for unfair and deceptive marketing of painkillers contributing to opioid abuse and addiction. The lawsuit alleges that even after a 2007 settlement with South Carolina, Purdue has continued to downplay the addictiveness of its opioid products and overstated the benefits compared to other pain management treatments.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#9

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:14 am

H/T our dear Eurobot




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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#10

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:18 am

NPR
County Jails Struggle With A New Role As America's Prime Centers For Opioid Detox

Faced with a flood of addicted inmates and challenged by lawsuits, America's county jails are struggling to adjust to an opioid health crisis that has turned many of the jails into their area's largest drug treatment centers.

In an effort to get a handle on the problem, more jails are adding some form of medication-assisted treatment to help inmates safely detox from opioids and stay clean behind bars and after release.

But there are deep concerns about potential abuse of the treatment drugs, as well as worries about the efficacy and costs of programs that jails just weren't designed or built for.

"It was never traditionally the function of jail to be a treatment provider, nor to be the primary provider of detoxification in the country — which is what they have become," says Andrew Klein, the senior criminal justice research scientist with the company Advocates for Human Potential, which advises on jail and prison substance abuse treatment programs across the U.S. "So, with the opioid epidemic, jails are scrambling to catch up."

A "critical situation"

The National Sheriffs Association estimates that at least half to two thirds of today's jail population has a drug abuse or dependence problem. Some counties say the number is even higher.



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#11

Post by Addie » Fri May 17, 2019 12:22 pm

The Guardian
Five more US states sue Purdue Pharma over its role in opioid crisis

Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland and West Virginia join several dozen other states, alleging company pushed false claims


Five more US states sued the painkiller maker Purdue Pharma on Thursday, alleging misconduct in the marketing and sales of opioids such as the company’s highly profitable OxyContin narcotic.

Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland and West Virginia filed separate but similar lawsuits, bringing the number of states suing the pharmaceutical company to 45, over its alleged role in the US opioids crisis that has caused thousands of drug overdose deaths. Pennsylvania sued the company two days ago, while New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Wednesday joined a host of cultural and academic institutions in announcing it would stop accepting philanthropy from the Sackler family members behind Purdue Pharma.

The five states that filed on Thursday are also suing Richard Sackler, who was previously Purdue’s co-chairman and president and is one of the leading members of the Sackler family who wholly own the private company.

Sackler has been sued in several other such lawsuits in recent months and Purdue is also being sued by more than 1,500 cities and counties from all across the US.

West Virginia’s lawsuit alleges Purdue Pharma aggressively pushed false claims and deceptive practices, even in the past training new marketing employees with the advertising motto: “We sell hope in a bottle.”

“This lawsuit reveals many years of painstaking investigation,” West Virginia’s attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, said. “The senseless death and ruined lives of untold thousands must stop.”



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#12

Post by Addie » Fri May 17, 2019 12:29 pm

By the way, I'm currently reading a book that PaulG recommended, which really gives the nuts and bolts of all this. I recommend it, too. Smooth writing, it almost reads like fiction but it ain't. Shocking stuff, though:



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#13

Post by Addie » Sat May 18, 2019 9:02 pm

The law is out after the doctors' scalps, too. Good.
Off Topic
Tennesseean: Tennessee doctor, accused of over-prescribing opioids, tried to flee to Marshall Islands, feds say

A Middle Tennessee doctor was arrested Friday for allegedly over prescribing opioids to patients he knew were abusing them to the point of overdosing.

He is the second medical professional to be prosecuted with opioid-related crimes in Clay County over the last month. More opioid prescriptions are dispensed per capita in the small county than anywhere else in Tennessee.

Gilbert Ghearing, 65, a family medicine and obstetrics doctor, allegedly wrote prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines for no justifiable purpose, leading at least two of his patients to overdose, said U.S. Magistrate Judge Alistair Newbern on Friday.

Ghearing was arrested at his practice in Celina Friday morning by federal agents and transported to Nashville to appear in court. His arrest comes just two days after Ghearing, while under investigation for the offenses, bought a one-way ticket to the Marshall islands, scheduled to leave on Sunday.



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#14

Post by Mikedunford » Sat May 18, 2019 9:34 pm

Addie wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:02 pm
The law is out after the doctors' scalps, too. Good.
Off Topic
Tennesseean: Tennessee doctor, accused of over-prescribing opioids, tried to flee to Marshall Islands, feds say

A Middle Tennessee doctor was arrested Friday for allegedly over prescribing opioids to patients he knew were abusing them to the point of overdosing.

He is the second medical professional to be prosecuted with opioid-related crimes in Clay County over the last month. More opioid prescriptions are dispensed per capita in the small county than anywhere else in Tennessee.

Gilbert Ghearing, 65, a family medicine and obstetrics doctor, allegedly wrote prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines for no justifiable purpose, leading at least two of his patients to overdose, said U.S. Magistrate Judge Alistair Newbern on Friday.

Ghearing was arrested at his practice in Celina Friday morning by federal agents and transported to Nashville to appear in court. His arrest comes just two days after Ghearing, while under investigation for the offenses, bought a one-way ticket to the Marshall islands, scheduled to leave on Sunday.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the whole one-way ticket thing is going to be an issue for him at the bail hearing.


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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#15

Post by Addie » Sun May 26, 2019 1:52 pm

Cross-posting

Reuters
Teva Pharm to pay Oklahoma $85 million to settle opioid claims

BOSTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said on Sunday it had agreed an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma days before the company was set to face trial over allegations that it and other drugmakers helped to fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, said the settlement “does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company” and denied contributing to opioid abuse in Oklahoma.

Claims against Teva focused on the branded opioid products Actiq and Fentora as well as generic painkillers it produced.

The trial against Israel-based Teva, along with Johnson & Johnson, was set to begin on Tuesday. The lawsuit alleged the companies’ marketing of the painkiller was to blame for the opioid epidemic. ...

The state also alleges the companies’ actions created an oversupply of painkillers and a public nuisance that will cost $12.7 billion to $17.5 billion to remedy.

Oklahoma resolved its claims against Purdue Pharma LP in March for $270 million.

The Oklahoma case is being closely watched by plaintiffs in other opioid cases, particularly some 1,850 mostly municipal and state governments that have sued the same drugmakers in the federal court in Ohio.



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#16

Post by Addie » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:13 pm

NBC News: How judges added to the grim toll of opioids

A Reuters analysis found that in many big product-liability cases, judges have countenanced a lethal secrecy.



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#17

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:29 am




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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#18

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:58 am

New York Times
Sacklers Would Give Up Ownership of Purdue Pharma Under Settlement Proposal

The Sackler family would give up ownership of Purdue Pharma, the company blamed for much of the opioid epidemic, and pay $3 billion of their own money under terms of a settlement proposal to resolve thousands of federal and state lawsuits, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The discussions have been going on for months as Purdue and the Sacklers have sought to prevent any new lawsuits against individual members of the family as well as their company.

If all the parties agree and the settlement is completed, Purdue would be the first among some two dozen manufacturers, distributors and retailers of prescription opioids facing lawsuits nationwide to settle all claims against it for its role in a public health crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the past two decades.

A document outlining a tentative negotiated agreement, which was described to The New York Times, valued the family’s and company’s contributions at between $10 billion and $12 billion, including the $3 billion Sackler contribution.

But it would not be a straightforward cash payout. The bulk of the funds would come from restructuring the company under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that would transform it from a private company into a “public beneficiary trust.” That would allow the profits from all drug sales, including the opioid painkiller OxyContin, to go to the plaintiffs — largely states, cities, towns and tribes.



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Re: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, LP, et al.

#19

Post by ZekeB » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:09 am

Fine with me. Somehow I think the Sacklers will come out smelling like a rose and being financially set for life for their several next generations. I'd like to see their wealth reduced to that of those who can barely afford a $5 a day prescription.


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