Purdue Phama and the Justice Dept. have ironed out a settlement to resolve multi-year civil and criminal investigations into the company's past opioid marketing practices.
In the understatement of the year, Tim McDermott of the Drug Enforcement Administration said the resolution “closes a particularly sad chapter in the ongoing battle against opioid addiction.”
As part of Purdue’s plea, it will admit that from May 2007 through at least March 2017 the company conspired to defraud the US by impeding the lawful function of the DEA by representing to the DEA that it maintained an effective anti-diversion program when, in fact, it “continued to market its opioid products to more than 100 healthcare providers whom the company had good reason to believe were diverting opioids by reporting misleading information to the DEA to boost Purdue’s manufacturing quotas,” according to the Justice Dept.’s Oct. 21 statement.
Under a separate civil settlement with the Sackler family, the Sacklers—knowing that the legitimate market for opioids had contracted—told Purdue executives to recapture lost sales by approving a marketing program in 2013 called “Evolve to Excellence.” That program had sales reps intensifying their push for OxyContin “to extreme high-volume prescribers who were already writing 25 times as many OxyContin scripts as their peers, causing healthcare providers to prescribe opioids for uses that were unsafe, ineffective and medically unnecessary and that often led to abuse and diversion.”
Steve Miller, who joined Purdue’s board as chairman in July 2018, said the company “deeply regrets and accepts the responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Dept. of Justice in the agreed statement of facts.”
He also should have also apologized to the families who lost loved ones to the greed of Purdue Pharma.
The GOP pollster Frank Luntz has advice for Donald Trump. “Nobody cares about Hunter Biden,” Luntz said at a briefing sponsored by British advisory firm Global Counsel. “Why is [Trump] spending all his time on him? Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID. And Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that and nobody cares.”
Note to Frank: Trump has nothing going for him so he uses Hunter to divert people’s attention from his bungling of the COVID-19 crisis that has killed 220K Americans and left the US economy in shambles.
Luntz said he’s “never seen a campaign more mis-calibrated than the Trump campaign and that his staff ought to be brought up on charges of political malpractice.
The pollster assumes that Trump listens to his staff.