How much will individuals get from the Purdue Pharma Settlement?
The opioid epidemic has become an alarming public health issue since the mid 90’s with the introduction of a popular pain medication into the market. The Sackler family and Purdue Pharma developed the drug OxyContin. OxyContin is a strong opioid drug used to treat severe and chronic pain symptoms. Since the alarming rise in opioid addiction, overdose and death, a recent lawsuit was filed against the company Purdue Pharma, pointing fingers at its influence and involvement in the public health crisis. There has been mounting evidence that shows Purdue Pharma and OxyContin has played a significant role in the opioid addiction crisis in the U.S.
Now in a recent settlement, the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, have agreed to pay $225 million to the Department of Justice, an additional $1 billion toward programs designed to tackle the opioid crisis, and $6 billion from their personal holdings.
Under the latest settlement, members of the Sackler family would give up ownership of the Purdue headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The company will pivot to a new direction under the name Knoa, where its profits will be sent to help fund, prevent and treat various aspects of substance addiction.
Opioid addiction, overdose and death have affected so many across the nation. How much will individuals get from the Purdue Pharma settlement? From $6 billion of the family’s personal holdings, an estimated $750 million will be paid out to the victims, survivors and family members of those affected by the opioid crisis. Under these settlement terms, despite the company admitting to wrongdoing in separate plea agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice, members of the Sackler family have been granted immunity from opioid-related lawsuits.
The Sackler Family and Purdue Pharma
Purdue Pharma is one of the nation’s most popular and leading manufacturers of opioid medications. It was bought by three brothers from the Sackler family. These physicians helped develop OxyContin, a powerful opioid prescription medication that unexpectedly became a key player in the opioid crisis. The company and OxyContin were the leading suppliers of prescription opioids to physicians and their patients.
The members of the Sackler family have continued to deny any personal wrongdoing and stated they regret that OxyContin had become such a focal point in the opioid crisis. Critics have accused the family of aggressively marketing the drugs including paying other physicians to exaggerate the benefits and safety of OxyContin. There were claims the company also instructed Pharma reps across the country to tell physicians that the drug was not addictive due to its slow-release properties.
In the recent lawsuits and settlements, some states are demanding even more money from the drug manufacturing family. States such as California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have some of the highest recorded opioid overdose death rates in the nation. Some state governments have already won about $50 billion from companies involved in the opioid crisis.
Purdue Pharma says it will now focus on financial efforts to compensate for the outcomes of the opioid crisis. This includes treatment options, overdose medications and other advocacy programs surrounding opioid addiction and overdose.
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History of the U.S. Opioid Epidemic
The U.S. opioid epidemic has been labeled one of the biggest public health crises in history. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 75% of the over 90,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved opioids. From 2019 to 2020, opioid-involved deaths increased by 38%; prescription opioid-involved deaths increased by 17%; and synthetic opioid-involved deaths increased by a whopping 56%.
The U.S. opioid crisis began back in the mid 90’s and continued in three waves.
- 1999 – After the introduction and FDA approval of OxyContin, the drug triggered a wave of legal prescription opioid overdose deaths.
- 2010 – The second wave appeared in the form of Heroin overdose deaths. Heroin began attracting people who were already addicted to prescription opioid medications.
- 2013 – The third and current wave of the crisis involves the rise in synthetic opioid overdose deaths. Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have become increasingly popular due to their powerful side effects and affordability.
Ways to Address the Opioid Crisis
The CDC and other advocacy groups are now focusing on how to identify prevent and treat various aspects of the growing opioid crisis. This includes addiction and overdose deaths. Below are a few measures being taken to address the public health crisis.
- Closely monitoring trends to better understand and respond to the epidemic
- Advancing research on opioid-related overdose and deaths. Collecting and analyzing data will help evaluate practical prevention efforts.
- Build state, local and tribal agencies that are equipped with tools and resources to improve the use of evidence-based strategies in treatment.
- Support healthcare providers, the healthcare system and other first responders to the opioid crisis.
- Partnering with public safety officials and community organizations to increase public awareness and understanding of the problem.
- Improve toxicology to better track polysubstance involved deaths.
- Enhancing equality, access and affordability to opioid use disorder treatment and risk prevention efforts.
- Improve prescription drug monitoring programs.
- Integrate behavioral care into mainstream healthcare and provide sustaining treatments.
- Provide addiction education and training to all health and medical professionals.
Reach out to Hotel California by the Sea
We specialize in treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD. Our Admissions specialists are available to walk you through the best options for treating your addiction.
Hotel California by the Sea provides a wide range of treatment options for those who are suffering from opioid use disorder. The substance abuse treatment program offers individualized care plans that include individual, family and group therapy. Other unique treatment options include EMDR and CBT. Hotel California by the Sea offers treatment at all levels of care.
With the increase in opioid overdose and deaths, the treatment program continues to support all clients through social services and aftercare planning. Under the guidance and support of clinical specialists, clients from all walks of life can overcome their opioid addiction.