• The Purdue Case Is One in a Wave of Opioid Lawsuits. What Should Their Outcome Be ? | The New Yorker

    Two years ago, when I was reporting on the opioid epidemic in one West Virginia county, the exorbitant cost of it—both socially and financially—perpetually astonished me. Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug, yanks people back from the edge of death to live another day and maybe, in time, conquer their addiction. Watching paramedics administer it was like witnessing a miracle over and over again. But Narcan is expensive—it cost Berkeley County, where I was reporting, fifty dollars a dose at the time, and consumed two-thirds of its annual budget for all emergency medications. Since then, the price of naloxone, its generic name, has risen to nearly a hundred and fifty dollars per dose, not because the formula has improved or become costlier to make—the drug has been around since 1961, and off patent since 1985—but because pharmaceutical manufacturers know a profitable market when they see one. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an average of a hundred and thirty people fatally overdose on prescription or illicit opioids every day in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that four hundred thousand Americans, a war’s worth of dead, died between 1999 and 2017.

    In Berkeley County, though, as in so many places across the country, Narcan accounted for just one column on a staggering spreadsheet. Hospitals have had to care for babies born in withdrawal. Foster-care systems have been strained by an influx of children whose families had been turned upside down by addiction. In many communities, the rates of H.I.V. and hepatitis C have climbed, because, once OxyContin pills were reformulated to make them harder to abuse, in 2010, and changes in prescribing practices made them more difficult to obtain, people addicted to them began injecting heroin and fentanyl instead.

    Under the Master Settlement Agreement, the tobacco companies also committed to pay the states two hundred billion dollars over twenty-five years, and to keep paying them sums tied to cigarette sales in each state in perpetuity. But nothing in the M.S.A. specified how that money was to be spent, and, though one might expect that the bulk of it would be dedicated to the goals of the lawsuits—reducing smoking and promoting public health—that has not generally been the case. In many states, much of the money has gone not to anti-smoking efforts, or even to general spending on health, but instead to closing budget shortfalls, lowering taxes, and funding infrastructure. States treated the agreement like what it felt like: a no-strings-attached gift.

    Je ne suis pas vraiment convainc par la conclusion :

    The Oklahoma settlement with Purdue is a reasonable stab at insuring that the money won in opioid lawsuits doesn’t follow a similar route. Yet some public-health advocates I spoke with said that, in the future, they hope more settlement money will go directly to the treatment of addiction. There’s good evidence, for example, that medication-assisted treatment using buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone works well for many people trying to get off opioids, but most states don’t have enough of it.

    Diriger les amendes vers la lutte contre les opioides es tune bonne chose, parce qu’elle évite le pire (que l’amende serve à « baisser les impôts »)... mais cela ne peut pas être un projet dans le cadre des procès. Une fois la responsabilité établie, il faut démanteler ces entreprises et ramener les familles qui les possèdent à un niveau de vie normal, car les Sackler ont largement organisé la promotion d’OxyContin. Or les accords à l’amiable doivent être acceptés par les deux parties, et les construire comme une fin en soi, c’est déjà baisser les bras devant la puissance financière (et donc la qualité/quantité des avocats...). Surtout quand une partie de l’amende sera comme en Oklahoma payée « en nature » par des médicaments produits par Purdue Pharma !!!

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès

    https://seenthis.net/messages/773941 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier

  • Exclusive : OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Exploring Bankruptcy - Sources | Investing News | US News

    By Mike Spector, Jessica DiNapoli and Nate Raymond

    (Reuters) - OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from roughly 2,000 lawsuits alleging the drugmaker contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

    The potential move shows how Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

    Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the pain treatments.

    Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow Purdue to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

    Shares of Endo International Plc and Insys Therapeutics Inc, two companies that like Purdue have been named in lawsuits related to the U.S. opioid epidemic, closed down 17 percent and more than 2 percent, respectively, on Monday.

    More than 1,600 lawsuits accusing Purdue and other opioid manufacturers of using deceptive practices to push addictive drugs that led to fatal overdoses are consolidated in an Ohio federal court. Purdue has held discussions to resolve the litigation with plaintiffs’ lawyers, who have often compared the cases to widespread lawsuits against the tobacco industry that resulted in a $246 billion settlement in 1998.

    “We will oppose any attempt to avoid our claims, and will continue to vigorously and aggressively pursue our claims against Purdue and the Sackler family,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said. Connecticut has a case against Purdue and the Sacklers.


    A Purdue bankruptcy filing is not certain, the sources said. The Stamford, Connecticut-based company has not made any final decisions and could instead continue fighting the lawsuits, they said.

    “As a privately-held company, it has been Purdue Pharma’s longstanding policy not to comment on our financial or legal strategy,” Purdue said in a statement.

    “We are, however, committed to ensuring that our business remains strong and sustainable. We have ample liquidity and remain committed to meeting our obligations to the patients who benefit from our medicines, our suppliers and other business partners.”

    Purdue faces a May trial in a case brought by Oklahoma’s attorney general that, like others, accuses the company of contributing to a wave of fatal overdoses by flooding the market with highly addictive opioids while falsely claiming the drugs were safe.

    Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump also said he would like to sue drug companies over the nation’s opioid crisis.

    Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, a sixfold increase from 1999, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Purdue hired law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for restructuring advice, Reuters reported in August, fueling concerns among litigants, including Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, that the company might seek bankruptcy protection before the trial.

    Companies facing widespread lawsuits sometimes seek bankruptcy protection to address liabilities in one court even when their financial condition is not dire. California utility PG&E Corp filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after deadly wildfires raised the prospect of large legal bills even though its stock remained worth billions of dollars.


    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in June became the first attorney general to sue not just Purdue but Sackler family members. Records in her case, which Purdue has asked a judge to dismiss, accused Sackler family members of directing deceptive marketing of opioids for years while enriching themselves to the tune of $4.2 billion.

    Some other states have since also sued the Sacklers. The Sacklers are currently discussing creating a nonprofit backed by family financial contributions to combat addiction and drug abuse, a person familiar with their deliberations said.

    The drugmaker downplayed the possibility of a bankruptcy filing in a Feb. 22 court filing in the Oklahoma case. “Purdue is still here - ready, willing and eager to prove in this Court that the State’s claims are baseless,” the company said in court papers.

    Sales of OxyContin and other opioids have fallen amid public concern about their addictive nature, and as restrictions on opioid prescribing have been enacted. OxyContin generated $1.74 billion in sales in 2017, down from $2.6 billion five years earlier, according to the most recent data compiled by Symphony Health Solutions.

    Purdue Chief Executive Officer Craig Landau has cut hundreds of jobs, stopped marketing opioids to physicians and moved the company toward developing medications for sleep disorders and cancer since taking the helm in 2017.

    In July, Purdue appointed a new board chairman, Steve Miller, a restructuring veteran who previously held leadership positions at troubled companies including auto-parts giant Delphi and the once-teetering insurer American International Group Inc.

    Mortimer D.A. Sackler no longer sits on Purdue’s board, according to a filing the company made with the Connecticut secretary of state late Monday.

    The Oklahoma case and other lawsuits seek damages from Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies accused of fueling the opioid crisis. In addition to lawsuits consolidated in an Ohio federal court, more than 300 cases are pending in state courts, and dozens of state attorneys general have sued manufacturers, including Purdue.

    Settlement discussions have not yet resulted in a deal.

    Purdue and three executives in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the misbranding of OxyContin and agreed to pay a total of $634.5 million in penalties, according to court records.

    (Reporting by Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli in New York and Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

    Copyright 2019 Thomson Reuters.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Bankruptcy

    https://seenthis.net/messages/765201 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier

  • Raymond SACKLER Officier of the Legion of Honor - France in the United States / Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.

    Dear Dr. Sackler,
    Dear Mrs. Sackler
    Distinguished guests,
    American and French friends,

    It is a great pleasure and honor for me to be here with you today on this very special occasion and I would like to express my warmest thanks to Raymond Sackler, whom we are honoring today, for welcoming us to this beautiful location.

    We are gathered here this afternoon to honor one of the most remarkable medical doctors in the field of Psychiatry and a very successful businessmanwho is also a great friend of France and an exceptional individual, Raymond Sackler.

    I would like to thank Mr. Sackler’s family and friends who have joined us here this afternoon to show their support and admiration, with a special word of appreciation to his wife Beverly, to whom I also want to pay tribute.

    Before proceeding with the ceremony, I would like to say a few words about the award I will bestow upon Mr. Sackler. The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to reward extraordinary accomplishments and outstanding services rendered to France.
    It is France’s highest distinction and one of the most coveted in the world. And the rank of officier that I will bestow upon Raymond Sackler is truly exceptional.

    Dear Dr. Sackler,

    You have accomplished so much that it is difficult to briefly sum up all of your outstanding achievements.

    Already at a very young age, you were interested in France and French culture. You first visited France in 1939, and since then, have come to France very often, becoming a true Francophile, as evidenced throughout your professional life and philanthropic activities.

    Together with your brother Mortimer, also a medical doctor, you created a pharmaceutical laboratory in France that was and still is a great success story. Being aware of the caliber of French research in medical and pharmaceutical sciences, you chose France for their first industrial investment, co-funding Les Laboratoires SARGET (today MEDA-PHARMA). You developed this company by creating or acquiring several subsidiaries in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal.

    You were incredibly successful, bringing the “Laboratoires SARGET” from a staff of a few hundred people in 1961, when it was created, to more than two thousand in 1987, when it was sold. With your brother and family, you later created another pharmaceutical company, MUNDIPHARMA, which is still growing, creating many jobs in France, and thus significantly contributing to the rise of the pharmaceutical industry in our country.

    At the same time, you and your wife, Beverly, became patrons of a number of worthy causes: many scientific institutions, universities, and museums such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux have benefited from your generosity. You also expressed a special interest in IHES, the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, that is very well represented this afternoon.

    I’d like to recognize the new Chairman of the Friends of IHES, Prof. Michael Douglas, the new Director of IHES Emmanuel Ullmo and its former director Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.

    If IHES is what it is today, a worldclass scientific center that is second to none, it is to a large extend thanks to you mon cher Jean-Pierre, to your talent, dedication and commitment to the Institute.

    It is also thanks to the support of many of you, Luc Hardy, and Raymond and Beverly Sackler in particular.

    Cher Raymond,

    Since 1990, you have made 3 donations to IHES, leading to the creation of 2 permanent endowments to host 2 scientists every year. You also supported the agreement between IHES and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Mathematical Sciences at Tel Aviv University. You encouraged IHES to diversify its scientific activities by making an additional donation in 2012 to create a Chair in Physics and Cosmology.

    Your long friendship and tremendous generosity toward French arts and science mirror your exceptional qualities as human beings. Your professional and social success go hand in hand with a unwavering intellectual curiosity and a strong commitment to future generations.

    You were originally named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by President Mitterrand. Your name had been proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benoît d’Abboville, then French Consul in New York, who presented you with the award here in New York in 1990.

    Today, in recognition of your continued dedication and commitment to French-American cultural and scientific cooperation, the President of the French Republic has promoted you to the rank of Officier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur.

    It is my great pleasure and privilege to award you this distinction. I will now proceed in French:

    Raymond SACKLER,

    Au nom du Président de la République, je vous fais Officier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Légion_honneur

    https://seenthis.net/messages/696567 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier

  • Antidouleurs de synthèse : les ravages d’un opium du peuple - regards.fr

    Chaque année, il meurt plus de membres de ces classes populaires blanches qu’ils ne mourraient, en une année, de soldats envoyés au Vietnam dans les années 70, ou que ne mourraient, en une année, de gays atteint du sida dans les années 80. Ceux-là décèdent en effet d’abus d’alcool, de maladies cardiaques, mais d’abord, et massivement, d’overdoses dues à l’absorption d’antidouleurs de synthèse, que l’industrie pharmaceutique américaine a contribué à produire bien sûr, mais à faire prescrire aussi, en manipulant les médecins et les institutions de santé publique.

    C’est sur ces fondations qu’un géant des firmes pharmaceutiques, Purdue Pharma, a bâti, selon les mots du New-Yorker, un véritable « empire de la douleur ». Non contents d’avoir diffusé ces anti-douleurs addictifs en contournant les législations, et d’en avoir, bien entendu, retiré des bénéfices indécents, les propriétaires de Purdue, la famille Sackler – l’une des plus riches familles américaines à ce jour – s’est, en outre, offert le luxe de se donner une image philanthropique, en finançant des musées, des bourses pour l’accès aux plus grandes universités américaines.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Nan_Golding

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663410 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier

  • LesInrocks - Addiction aux opioïdes : la photographe Nan Goldin s’attaque à l’industrie pharmaceutique américaine

    Elle a photographié toutes les addictions dans les années 80 en s’immisçant dans l’intimité de ses amis. Aujourd’hui, après plusieurs années de lutte contre les opioïdes, Nan Goldin s’exprime en texte et en images contre l’industrie pharmaceutique qui délivre sciemment ces drogues.

    Photographe phare des années 80, Nan Goldin a mis en images toutes les souffrances de sa génération : les drogues, le sida, l’amour, autant de sujets qui tenaient au corps de l’époque et ont marqué au fer rouge les esprits des jeunes de ces années-là. Toutefois, les démons toxiques n’ont pas épargné la photographe, qui partage aujourd’hui dans les pages d’ArtForum son combat de vingt ans contre les opioïdes, accompagné d’une série photographique. Ces puissants anti-douleur connus sous le nom d’OxyContin lui ont été prescrits à Berlin après une opération, raconte-elle dans son essai, aussi publié sur son compte Instagram.

    L’addiction était née “en une nuit”, explique-t-elle. “C’était la drogue la plus propre que j’ai connue. Au début, 40 mg étaient trop forts, mais au fil de l’habitude aucune dose n’était suffisante. Je tenais les chose sous contrôle dans un premier temps. Puis c’est devenu de plus en plus le bordel. J’ai travaillé dans le médical pour obtenir des prescriptions.”

    L’industrie pharmaceutique dans le radar

    Outre les déboires de santé, de finances et dans sa vie personnelle, c’est la perversité de l’industrie pharmaceutique et notamment de la famille Sackler que Nan Goldin tacle dans son texte. Son travail photographique, accompagné de l’article relayé par ArtForum, porte le nom de Sackler/PAIN. “PAIN” signifie “douleur” en anglais, mais s’avère être également l’acronyme de Prescription Addiction Intervention Now, soit “intervention contre l’addiction aux prescriptions maintenant”, un groupe contre l’addiction à l’OxyContin, qui s’obtient uniquement sur ordonnance... ou par des circuits aléatoires et douteux que Nan Goldin explique avoir employés pour se procurer ses doses à la fin de son addiction.

    Pour venir à bout de ces drogues prescrites comme médicaments, elle s’attaque à leur fabricant, la famille Sackler qui détient Perdue Pharma, l’entreprise qui a fait fortune grâce aux opioïdes. Pour appuyer son appel à l’aide, la photographe annonce des chiffres à glacer le sang : aux Etats-Unis en 2015, on a recensé 33 000 morts par overdose d’opioïdes dont la moitié étaient des patients avec ordonnance. De même, toujours selon elle, 80 % des addicts à l’héroïne ont commencé leur addiction par une prescription d’opioïde.

    Sackler/PAIN, se battre

    Une Nan Goldin visiblement larguée, le regard dans le vide qui tente de regarder l’objectif. La première photographie de la série Sackler/PAIN parle à celui qui la regarde, prévient et démontre par l’image des dommages que causent les opioïdes. Derrière ce texte et cette image, la volonté d’une bataille contre la famille Sackler – par ailleurs de grands mécène de l’art aux Etats-Unis – pour faire cesser une épidémie mortelle que Goldin compare à l’hécatombe causée par le VIH : “La plupart de ma communauté est morte du VIH. Je ne supporterai pas de voir une autre génération disparaître. Les Sackler ont fait leur fortune en promouvant l’addiction. (…) Ils ont fait de la publicité et distribué leur médicament en pleine connaissance de ses dangers. Les Sackler et leur entreprise privée, Purdue Pharma, ont construit un empire sur la vie de milliers de gens.”

    A ce jour, la famille Sackler n’a toujours pas communiqué à propos de l’action de Nan Goldin ou de ses groupes PAIN. Les images à retrouver ici.

    #sackler #Opioides

    https://seenthis.net/messages/658661 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier

  • OxyContin goes global — “We’re only just getting started”

    #OxyContin is a dying #business in America.

    With the nation in the grip of an opioid epidemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives, the U.S. medical establishment is turning away from painkillers. Top health officials are discouraging primary care doctors from prescribing them for chronic pain, saying there is no proof they work long-term and substantial evidence they put patients at risk.

    Prescriptions for OxyContin have fallen nearly 40% since 2010, meaning billions in lost revenue for its Connecticut manufacturer, Purdue Pharma.

    So the company’s owners, the #Sackler family, are pursuing a new strategy: Put the painkiller that set off the U.S. opioid crisis into medicine cabinets around the world.

    A network of international companies owned by the family is moving rapidly into Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other regions, and pushing for broad use of painkillers in places ill-prepared to deal with the ravages of opioid abuse and #addiction.

    #opiacés #etats-unis #exportation #mort

    https://seenthis.net/messages/553307 via Kassem