The Sacklers and members of their company Purdue Pharma were named in a lawsuit in which they are accused of benefiting from the opioid crisis by aggressively marketing OxyContin, with the family's solicitors and Purdue refusing.
The lawsuit had been severely edited, but on Monday, Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders ruled that the unedited amended complaint should be publicly publicized by February 1.
In the sequence, Sanders calls the defense's protests "barely compelling" to keep the information a secret, adding that it is not very personal or private.
The Edited Pages "seem to be discussing tactics that could be used to promote the sale of OxyContin (especially in higher doses), encouraging physicians to prescribe the drug for extended periods of time, and bypassing redirected safety precautions to stop illegal regulations, "says Sanders in the court file.
"For many years, Purdue, his executives, and members of the Sackler family have sought to shift the blame and hide their role in the onset of the opioid epidemic, and we are grateful to the court for seizing our complaint The public and the families so deeply affected by this crisis can see allegations of misconduct that has hurt so many people, "Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Monday in a statement to CNN.
The Purdue Pharmaceuticals attorney team plans to seek suspension in the case until a judicial review of the judge's motion is pending.
In a previous statement to CNN, Purdue Pharma said, "To distract from these facts and the numerous shortcomings of his allegations, the Attorney General has made a selection from Purdue out of dozens of millions of e-mails and other produced business documents." [1
Connection of the Sackler Family
The Sackler family, of which Forbes says it has a value of about $ 13 billion, is known for its worldwide philanthropy. The surname is found in museums and galleries around the world, including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sackler Museum in Beijing, and the Royal Academy in London. Your company Purdue Pharma sells OxyContin and has been criticized in the past for its aggressive marketing of the opioid analgesic.
There have already been lawsuits against the company, including a federal prosecutor's office in 2007, which was settled as part of a US $ 600 million plea. The federal accusation was "misleading and cheating on doctors and consumers," referring to how addictive OxyContin is. The Sackler family was not particularly attached to these suits.
Healey filed a complaint calling for eight members of the Sackler family who claimed that OxyContin caused overdose and death, but the drug continued to transport. Nine other persons currently or earlier affiliated with the company are also mentioned in the lawsuit. CNN contacted the lawyers of all the defendants to comment on them, but did not immediately return them.
"They have led misleading sales and marketing practices in Purdue and sent hundreds of assignments to senior executives and executives. Purdue has been collecting opioid sales and paying billions of dollars to herself and her family," Healey said.
The original lawsuit was heavily revised, obscuring certain details regarding members of the Sackler family and other persons named in the lawsuit.
A lower court removed some of the editors earlier this month, but Healey argued that the 189 paragraphs that were still being amended should be revealed. "Uncovering the truth about Purdue's misconduct is important to achieving justice and ensuring that fraud like Purdues never happens again," she said in the court complaint.
The complaint states that the hidden material contains documents that contradict the statements of Sackler's family members.
Suit says physicians were fooled about OxyContin
"From the beginning, the Sacklers viewed opioid restrictions as a barrier to greater profits, and to make more money, the Sacklers considered whether to sell OxyContin could in some countries as an uncontrolled drug, "argues the prosecutor in the parts of the original complaint that were not deleted.
The Sacklers backed Purdue's decision to fool doctors and patients, says the lawsuit. "Richard Sackler, Kathe Sackler and other Purdue executives discovered in 1997 – and recorded in secret internal correspondence – that the doctors had the crucial misconception that OxyContin was weaker than morphine, which led to OxyContin being prescribed much more often, even as a replacement for Tylenol. "
Former Purdue chairman and President Richard Sackler is described as a micromanager eager to drive profits, despite the fact that the opioid crisis was in full swing, according to the lawsuit.
Sackler sometimes went to sales representatives in the doctors' offices to force the sale, claims the lawsuit. He purportedly wanted aggressive and positive advertising, although Purdue executives were worried about how he would promote the drug.
The complaint states that internal documents from 2011 show that Sackler was not satisfied with the number of OxyContin regulations. When a sales week doubled the company's forecast, he told sales reps: "I was hoping for better results."
In February 2012, Russell Gasdia, who was Sales Vice President at that time, sent a message saying, "The Boston District fails." Internal records indicate that the then sales manager was in agreement with Gasdia and the sales staff who did not increase the Opioid regulations. According to these documents in the complaint, Gasdia agreed with this assessment, saying that the launching would "send a message".
Judge Sanders' order on Monday ruled that the only paragraph to be amended only applies to Gasdia and stated that prosecutors might remove the allegations completely from the lawsuit because they may not be accurate.
The complaint also describes how the family already knew in 2013 that the number of deaths from OxyContin had tripled since 1990. The staff told the Sacklers that tens of thousands of deaths are just the "tip of the iceberg," the lawsuit says.
Purdue denies allegations
Purdue previously told CNN that Healey's allegations "Irresponsibly and counterproductively making all OxyContin regulations dangerous and illegitimate, and the sensational claims of its lawyers replace the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) specialized scientific regulations and the complete disregard of the millions of patients receiving Purdue Pharma's medicines be prescribed for severe chronic pain.
The statement also notes that OxyContin represents a small percentage of opioid pain medications, and the focus should be on resolving the "complex health crisis" caused by opioids.
Purdue also accuses the attorney general of "Eliminate Key Facts About FDA Regulation of Opioid Drugs."
"In April 2010, the FDA approved a reformulated version of OxyContin, which Purdue developed with properties designed to prevent abuse. Purdue worked for more than a decade on the development of the new formulation and was the first FDA-approved opioid with dissuasive properties, "the statement said.
" The Massachusetts Attorney General praised the FDA for supporting abusive formulations and the obligation of insurers to cover them;
"The FDA has directly addressed many of the issues in the Massachusetts complaint and further established this Purdue process Pharma's opioids are safe and effective for their intended use."
Opioids are a class of medicines that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Opioids are the cause of a continuing public health crisis in America.
There were 47 deaths in 2017. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 600 deaths from opioids have been reported in the United States – more than the number of deaths associated with breast cancer.
The opioid crisis has raised considerable concern about prescription painkillers. Between 1999 and 2009, drug overdoses increased by approximately 13% per year, although the increase has since slowed to 3% per year.
Sales of OxyContin, a long-lasting release of the drug oxycodone, which should be administered over 12 hours with medication, rose rapidly after its 1996 market entry.
Lauren del Valle of CNN contributed to this report.