IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR BIG PHARMA TO TAKE OWNERSHIP
Recently, the Wall Street Journal and other media channels published the results of a lengthy Department of Justice investigation into Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Developed in the mid-90’s, OxyContin is responsible for an estimated 450,000 deaths nationwide.
Although many aspects of Purdue Pharma’s business practices were topics for the DOJ investigation, the most prominent and damming was their misrepresentations made to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and illegal kickbacks to prescribers.
The settlement for $8.34 billion will include $225 million paid to the Federal Government while the rest is parceled out to states, cities, and tribes across America that accuse Purdue of instigating nation and worldwide deaths and addiction.
Although Big Pharma companies are finally being called on the carpet for their actions, settlements such as these pale in comparison to the overall net worth of the company owners, in this case the Sackler Family. Currently, there are efforts underway assess the value of the family in an effort to evaluate the efficacy of civil lawsuits.
The opioid crisis is not a single front fight. Multiple fronts, including youth outreach, rehabilitation access and ongoing treatment, and prosecution of root cause sources such as Purdue Pharma need to be pursued. My Take Flight to Fight the Opioid Epidemic Initiative takes aim at redirecting our youth towards positive life goals, thus giving them a deterrent tool empowering them to say no to any type of drug. I’ve been passionate about keeping our youth far from drugs ever since I was tempted in high school. I look forward to continuing my work well beyond the Mrs. American national competition and look forward to seeing the opioid epidemic eradicated.