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Thursday, July 08, 2021

麻州AG Maura Healey與Purdue和Sackler家族達協議 麻州將獲九千萬元防治濫用藥物

麻州總檢察官Maura Healey宣佈對抗鴉片類藥物危機的一連串成績。
(周菊子攝)
              (Boston Orange 周菊子綜合報導) 麻州總檢察官奚莉 (Maura Healey) 和麻州州長查理貝克 (Charlie Baker) 及承辦檢察官等人,今 (8) 日中午聯袂宣佈,製藥公司Purdue與賽克勒 (Sackler)家族和包括麻州在內的十幾州達成協議,須為他們造成的毒品危機,付出43.25億元,其中9千萬元將撥給麻州。

               這協議於8日遞交破產法法庭,是否通過還待法庭批准。

              奚莉指出,該協議要求Purdue公司公開3千萬份文件,禁止賽克勒家族從事鴉片類藥物生意,規定Purdue公司於2024年開始停止營運或出售,還要求賽克勒家族讓出其家族基金所控制的17500萬元資產給致力於償還鴉片類藥物危機的信托基金。在未來9年內,控制Purdue公司的賽克勒家族必須付出43.25億元。

 

麻州州長Charlie Baker稱行為健康很重要。(周菊子攝)
           2018年時,奚莉是控告Purdue公司及其主管為增加利潤,在鴉片類藥物可能造成的危機上誤導醫生及病人的第一個州級總檢察官。該訴訟稱,從2009年起,製造奧斯康定(OxyContin)Purdue在麻州導致670多名麻州居民,經醫生處方使用該公司藥物而用藥過量致死,

            2019年,當賽克勒家族用Purdue公司的破產案作為法律訟案中的個人責人擋箭牌時,奚莉率領一個由25名總檢察官組成的聯盟,在破產法庭中與之對抗。奚莉也警告美國司法部不要支持Purdue的破產計畫。

             奚莉在今日的記者會中指出,該辦公室在20212月還偕同領導,指控麥肯錫諮詢顧問公司(McKinsey & Company)指導Purdue公司如何針對醫生來渦輪式增壓的增加奧斯康定銷量,並達成57300萬元協議。20215月奚莉又再控訴Publicis Health設計並使用欺騙式的行銷伎倆來幫Purdue製藥公司賣出更多的奧斯康定。

             奚莉表示,這一和解案的特別處在於就賽克勒家族不當行為部分,要求了前所未有的透明度。她說,該公司高層坐在董事會議室內,努力策畫著要讓更多病人上癮,並對藥物有更高劑量,更長時間的需求。

麻州總檢察官Maura Healey(前中)和麻州州長Charlie Baker
(後左二)等人在麻州總檢察官辦公室宣佈對抗濫用藥品
危機的成績。(周菊子攝)
             她說,賽克勒家族變成了億萬富翁,數以千計的全美,以及麻州人民卻陷入苦難,甚至死亡。

             麻州州長查理貝克稱許麻州總檢察官辦公室在這案件中的工作成績。他還指Purdue高層在聯邦政府為奧斯康定的上癮危機控告他們,於2007年認罪後,竟壞得加倍,使得危機升級為一場全國性災難

             麻州將拿到的9千萬元會用於預防上癮,治療,以及復原等項目。查理貝克政府表示這筆錢將在包括受影響家庭在內的顧問委員會指導下使用。

             Purdue公司於2009年申請破產保護,期以因應全國多州市的3000多宗訴訟。這些訴訟稱該公司持續行銷其效力過強止痛劑所造成的危機,可能和過去20年中在全美各地所發生的50萬宗死亡有關。

             Purdue在一份聲明中表示,該公司將為其重組計劃繼續爭取更多共識,包括轉移數以億元計的資產進入造福美國人民的信託基金,以及受鴉片類藥物危機影響的全美社區及個人所極端需要的醫藥,資源。

             賽克勒家族(Raymond and Mortimer Sackler)發佈了一份聲明,稱協議是為有需要的人們及社區提供大量資源的重要一步。賽克勒家族希望這些經費有助於達到該目的。

             有統計數據稱,在新冠病毒大流行期間,鴉片類藥物危機更加嚴重,麻州內過量致死比率,去年增加了5%,而且在黑人中大幅度上升。

AG Healey Announces Resolution With Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family for Their Role in the Opioid Crisis

Resolution Secures Unprecedented Public Disclosure; $4.3 Billion from the Sacklers for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery; Purdue Will Cease to Exist and Sacklers Banned from Opioid Business

BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today announced the resolution of her lawsuit against the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, that will make public tens of millions of documents related to their role in the opioid crisis, and require a payment of more than $4.3 billion for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in communities across the country. It will also require Purdue Pharma to be wound down or sold by 2024 and ensure that the Sacklers are banned from the opioid business and required to turn over control of family foundations to an independent trustee to be used to address the opioid epidemic.

The resolution of the lawsuit by AG Healey, which was filed in bankruptcy court on Wednesday night and is subject to approval, requires unprecedented and complete disclosure about the role Purdue and the Sacklers played in the opioid crisis. It requires Purdue and the Sacklers to make public more than 30 million documents, including attorney-client privileged communications about the original FDA approval of OxyContin and tactics to promote opioids. It also requires the Sacklers to make one of the largest payments that individuals have paid to resolve a law enforcement action in U.S. history.

“From the day we opened our investigation and became the first state to sue the Sacklers, my office has been committed to revealing the truth about the opioid epidemic that the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma created, the devastation they caused, and the countless American families they hurt,” said AG Healey. “While I know this resolution does not bring back loved ones or undo the evil of what the Sacklers did, forcing them to turn over their secrets by providing all the documents, forcing them to repay billions, forcing the Sacklers out of the opioid business, and shutting down Purdue will help stop anything like this from ever happening again. This case has also shown us that our legal system needs to change so that billionaires are never allowed to manipulate the bankruptcy system. I am grateful to the families whose strength and perseverance will continue to guide our work to combat this crisis in the years ahead.”

“The opioid crisis has caused immeasurable harm to families across Massachusetts and Purdue Pharma played a significant role in perpetuating that crisis, and I am grateful that this resolution holds Purdue and the Sackler family accountable,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration was proud to support the Attorney General in this litigation and to push for greater accountability for the Sacklers and Purdue throughout this process. There is much more work to do to fight the opioid epidemic and we remain committed to building on Massachusetts’ nation-leading work in prevention, education, treatment and recovery, but we are glad that today’s resolution sends a message that those who perpetuated this crisis will be held accountable.”

“I would like to thank Attorney General Healey for delivering on her promise to expose what Purdue and the Sacklers did,” said Joanne Peterson, the founder and executive director of Learn to Cope. “For the past 20 years, they have hidden behind lies and stigmatized our families. Now everyone will know the truth.” 

“This settlement helps to bring justice to the many families in the Commonwealth who have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Charles Anderson, President and CEO of the Dimock Center and member of the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council. “It will shape public health policy and decrease the stigma associated with substance use disorder which is vital to promoting access to care for all that need it. Moreover, the disclosure of information achieved in this settlement will allow us to make sure that this never happens again.”

“We are forever grateful to Attorney General Maura Healey and her staff for demanding accountability and justice for the harm and devastation caused to individuals, families, and communities,” said Maryanne Frangules, Executive Director at the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR).

Disclosure

Under the terms of the resolution, Purdue will turn over for public disclosure the evidence from lawsuits and investigations of Purdue over the past 20 years, including deposition transcripts, deposition videos, and 13 million documents. Purdue will also be required to turn over more than 20 million additional documents, including every non-privileged email at Purdue that was sent or received by every member of the Sackler family who sat on the Board or worked at the company. Lastly, Purdue will waive its attorney-client privilege to reveal hundreds of thousands of confidential communications with its lawyers about tactics for pushing opioids, FDA approval of OxyContin, “pill mill” doctors and pharmacies diverting drugs, and about the billions of dollars Purdue paid out to the Sacklers.

Payment and abatement

The Sacklers will pay $4.325 billion over the next nine years, with Massachusetts expected to receive an estimated $90 million for abatement of the opioid epidemic. Thousands of individual victims of Purdue’s misconduct will also receive compensation as part of the bankruptcy process.

Under the terms of the plan, the Sacklers will be permanently banned from the opioid business and Purdue will be sold or wound down by the end of 2024.

The resolution also requires the Sacklers to relinquish control of family foundations holding $175 million in assets to the trustees of a foundation dedicated to abating the opioid crisis. Further, the Sackler family will be prohibited from requesting or permitting any new naming rights in connection with charitable or similar donations or organizations for the next nine years.

Throughout the case, AG Healey has called out the Sacklers’ abuse of our justice system. In 2019, when the Sacklers used Purdue’s corporate bankruptcy as a shield against personal liability in lawsuits, AG Healey led a coalition of 25 non-consenting attorneys general to fight Purdue and the Sacklers in bankruptcy court. In 2020, AG Healey warned the U.S. Department of Justice not to support Purdue’s plans. In June 2021, AG Healey testified before the U.S. House Oversight Committee about the need for legislation to close the loophole that the Sackler billionaires are using to gain protection from bankruptcy court. 

Since taking office, AG Healey has prioritized combating the opioid epidemic through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes enforcement, policy, prevention, and education efforts. In June 2018, AG Healey was the first state attorney general to sue members of the Sackler family for their role in creating the opioid crisis. In February 2021, AG Healey co-led a $573 million settlement with McKinsey & Company over claims it advised Purdue on how to target doctors to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales. In May 2021, AG Healey filed a lawsuit against Publicis Healtha significant player in the American drug marketing industry, alleging it designed and deployed unfair and deceptive marketing schemes to help Purdue Pharma sell more OxyContin.


The Office’s pursuit to hold perpetrators of the opioid epidemic accountable has been handled by Senior Enforcement Counsel Gillian Feiner, Assistant Attorney General Sandy Alexander, former Chief Deputy Joanna Lydgate, Health Care Division Chief Eric Gold, Assistant Attorney General Jenny Wojewoda, Paralegals Philipp Nowak and Indie Rao, Investigator Marlee Greer, Deputy General Counsel Paula McManus, Chief Legal Counsel Rich Johnston, Health Care and Fair Competition Bureau Chief Mary Beckman and Deputy Bureau Chief Mary Freeley, Senior Trial Counsel Jim Sweeney, Project Manager Catherine Madden, Senior Policy Advisor Shane Blundell, Policy and Government Relations Division Chief Alicia Rebello-Pradas, and Assistant Attorneys General Jeff Walker, Matt Lashof-Sullivan, and David Kim.

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