A member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma — which is being sued by more than 1,000 jurisdictions for its alleged role in seeding the opioid crisis with its pain medication OxyContin — has been awarded a patent for a treatment for opioid use disorder.
Dr. Richard Sackler is listed as one of six inventors on the patent, which was issued in January and was first reported Friday by the Financial Times. Critics told the FT that they were disturbed that the patent could enable Sackler to benefit financially from the addiction crisis that his family’s company is accused of fueling.
Purdue has denied the allegations in the lawsuits, which also target a range of other opioid painkiller manufacturers and distributors.
The patent concerns a new formulation of buprenorphine, one of the medications shown to help people with opioid addiction. It is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration in tablet and film form, but the patent describes a wafer that could dissolve even faster than existing forms when put under the tongue.
The patent says that the faster the treatment dissolves, the less risk there is for diversion.
Members of the Sackler family, who’ve made billions pushing their deadly OxyContin drug on the masses are arguably responsible for more deaths than any Mexican drug cartel. Instead of being hunted down at their plush mansions by DEA agents, they are rubbing elbows with members of Congress. Now, however, for the first time, the family is being targeted by a landmark lawsuit for the damages they knowingly caused with their products.
On Thursday someone with ties to the Trump administration leaked information which indicates the president plans to execute drug dealers in an attempt to curb the national overdose death crisis. But absent from the president’s yet-unannounced policy is any accountability directed toward the billion-dollar pharmaceutical pain-killer industry largely responsible for the nearly 60,000 yearly overdose deaths which have surpassed 200,000 since 1999. If it’s true the president plans to apply the death penalty for street-level heroin dealers, the same punitive measure, logically, should be applied to the pharma-cartel as well.
The Sackler family is best known for the buildings adorned with their names thanks to their acts of philanthropy, which is either motivated by a public spirit, or by the desperate need for some reputation washing as the public becomes increasingly aware that the family fortune was built on the perfection of shady techniques for marketing addictive drugs, which reached its zenith when Perdue, the family pharma business, created the Oxy epidemic, by falsifying addictiveness research and aggressively recruiting doctors to hook their patients on their lethal products.
Unbeknownst to many, the Sackler Family, with assets of $13 billion, the nation’s 19th wealthiest family is one the top players in philanthropy. You can find the Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. or visit the Sackler wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Sackler’s even have a museum at Harvard, Guggenheim, and dozen of universities around the country. If it’s art— the Sackler family has it.
Purdue and three executives pleaded guilty in 2007 to federal charges of misbranding drugs and were ordered to pay $635 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration said in 2003 that the company’s “aggressive, excessive and inappropriate” marketing “very much exacerbated” abuse and criminal trafficking of OxyContin.
Insys Therapeutics, the company who makes insane profits from a drug behind one of the worst overdose epidemics in the nation’s history, fentanyl, is in hot water — again. According to Reuters, six former Insys Therapeutics Inc executives and managers were arrested on Thursday on charges that they engaged in a nationwide scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe a drug containing the opioid fentanyl, U.S. prosecutors said. Along with the executives, Michael Baich, the former CEO, was also charged in an indictment filed in federal court in Boston this week.
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