Massachusetts Attorney General Blames Sackler Jews Personally for Opioid Crisis, Half a Million Deaths
MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL Maura Healey has announced that the Jewish Sackler family is “personally responsible” for the opioid plague which has killed nearly half a million people in America since the year 2000 — of which at least 450,000 were Whites.
In an interview with CBS News, Healey said she “is targeting Purdue Pharma and eight members of the Sackler family who own the company,” stating in a lawsuit that they are “personally responsible” for deceptively selling OxyContin.
Speaking on “CBS This Morning,” Healey said that the Sackler family hired “hundreds of workers to carry out their wishes” — pushing doctors to get “more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before” all while paying “themselves billions of dollars.”
In her lawsuit, Healey names eight members of the family that own Purdue Pharma, alleging they “micromanaged” a “deceptive sales campaign.”
In the conclusion to the complaint, Healey said the Sackler family used the power at their disposal to engineer an opioid crisis.
Healey said this is the most complete picture to date of how the opioid crisis began, and why the Sackler family itself should be held accountable. “They don’t want to accept blame for this. They blame doctors, they blame prescribers and worst of all, they blame patients,” Healey said.
Healey said Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family are one and the same.
In one alleged instance, then-president Richard Sackler devised what Healey describes as Sackler’s “solution to the overwhelming evidence of overdose and death,” writing in a confidential email, “we have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible. They are the culprits and the problem.”
According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation “Opioid Overdose Deaths by Race/Ethnicity” table —which is drawn from statistics provided by the US Government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been 391,152 opioid-linked deaths in the US since 2000.
Of that number, 318,242 were Whites, 33,867 were Blacks, and 30,498 were Hispanics. That number only included deaths up to 2017. The figure for 2018 is going to at least the same, if not far more, than 2017, pushing the final total to at least 450,000 — and very likely far more.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the opioid epidemic has its origins in “the late 1990s,” when “pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
“This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.”
In 1996, Purdue introduced its opioid drug, OxyContin. By 2001, eighty percent of Purdue Pharmacy’s revenue came from the sale of OxyContin worth $3 billion.
Forbes listed the Sackler family — Jews from the Ukraine and Poland — as the 19th wealthiest in the United States in 2016 with a fortune of $13 billion.
As revealed in Esquire magazine (“The Secretive Family Making Billions From the Opioid Crisis,” October 16, 2017), the largest part of the Sackler family’s fortune came from the sale of OxyContin.
The original suit instituted by Healy says that Purdue contributed to the opioid epidemic, including the opioid-related deaths of more than 670 Massachusetts residents prescribed Purdue opioids since 2009 and thousands more who struggled with cycles of overdose and addiction.
“Purdue Pharma and its executives built a multi-billion-dollar business based on deception and addiction. The more drugs they sold, the more money they made, and the more people in Massachusetts suffered and died. These defendants must be held accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our state and claimed so many lives.”
The defendants in the AG’s complaint are Connecticut-based companies Purdue Pharma Inc. and Purdue Pharma L.P., current and former Purdue CEOs Craig Landau, John Stewart and Mark Timney and current and former members of Purdue Pharma Inc.’s board of directors Richard Sackler, Theresa Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Jonathan Sackler, Mortimer D.A. Sackler, Beverly Sackler, David Sackler, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, Peter Boer, Paulo Costa, Cecil Pickett, Ralph Synderman, and Judy Lewent. The Sackler family has sole ownership of Purdue and holds the majority of the seats on Purdue Pharma Inc.’s board.
Purdue manufactures, markets and sells prescription opioids, including OxyContin, Butrans, and Hysingla. Since 2008, Purdue has sold more than 70 million doses of those opioids in Massachusetts, generating revenue of more than $500 million.
The lawsuit claims that Purdue, under the leadership and direction of the defendant directors and CEOs, deceived prescribers and patients to get more people to use Purdue’s opioid products, at higher doses, for longer periods by, for example:
* Misrepresenting the risks of opioid use to prescribers and patients. Purdue disseminated and sponsored unbranded, promotional materials that lauded opioids as “the gold standard” of pain medications; purported to help consumers “overcome” “concerns about addiction;” warned prescribers against “unnecessary withholding of opioid medications;” and suggested to prescribers that patients showing signs of addiction could properly be treated with more opioids at higher doses. At the same time, Purdue deceptively downplayed the risks of addiction, overdose and death associated with its opioids.
* Misrepresenting that Purdue’s opioids provided more consistent, effective and even safer relief than acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Purdue claimed that its opioids improved patients’ quality of life, even when internal Purdue documents admit there were no clinical studies or other evidence to substantiate that claim.
* Aggressively targeting marketing and promotional efforts at vulnerable populations – including veterans, the elderly and people who were not taking opioids before – to increase profits.
*Misleading prescribers and patients about the increased risks associated with prolonged use of its opioids in order to extend average treatment duration. Purdue targeted patients who could be kept on opioids for more than a year. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has determined that “continued prescription opioid use increase[s] risk of fatal overdose.” Compared to the general population, a patient who receives three months of prescribed opioids is 30 times more likely to overdose and die.
The lawsuit further claims Purdue aggressively pushed its opioids at numerous medical practices where it knew improper prescribing, misuse and diversion were occurring and patients were overdosing and dying.
According to the AG’s complaint, to make sure doctors prescribed more of its drugs, Purdue tracked doctors’ prescriptions, visited their offices hundreds of times, bought them meals, and asked doctors to “commit” to putting specific patients on Purdue’s drugs.
Since 2008, Purdue has sent sales representatives to push its opioids in Massachusetts doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals more than 150,000 times and has given money, meals, or gifts to more than 2,000 Massachusetts prescribers.
Purdue also rewarded prescribers with consulting deals worth tens of thousands of dollars and kept promoting drugs to them even when the doctors wrote illegal prescriptions, lost their medical licenses, and their patients died.
The complaint continues:
First, Purdue deceived doctors and patients to get more and more people on its dangerous drugs.
Second, Purdue misled them to take higher and more dangerous doses.
Third, Purdue deceived them to stay on its drugs for longer and more harmful periods of time. All the while, 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.
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Source: New Observer