Major Opioid Verdict Prompts Reaction from Drug Policy Center Director Tom Carr: These Drugs 'Caused Irreparable Damage and Despair'
October 22, 2020
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
In the wake of a major verdict against Purdue Pharma, following a federal trial about the company's role in the national crisis over opioid abuse, Tom Carr, executive director of the Center for Drug Policy and Prevention in The University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs, is speaking out about the case and its impact on mitigation efforts.
“While Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, has agreed to plead guilty to three felonies, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating anti-kickback laws; and pay $8 billion in fines, many will view this settlement as inadequate," Carr said. "The misuse of opioids, such as OxyContin, has been linked to over 470,000 deaths across the U.S. over the past 20 years. As many of these deaths are directly attributable to OxyContin, this plea deal falls short in meting out a punishment that fits the crime. Purdue Pharma's unconscionable actions caused irreparable damage and despair to thousands of individuals and their families, including lives lost, and many will not consider this deal fair. Even so, I am pleased to see that the owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler Family, can still be held personally accountable for their roles in this criminal enterprise.
"While $8 billion is a lot of money, it is just a fraction of the profits Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family made. Will this send a message to other pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors? I am sure it will send a chilling, but short-lived message to the industry. The affluent individuals in charge of these corporations who knowingly sell and have sold addictive drugs for profit at the expense of people's lives will only get the message when they are incarcerated. This will be when a game change will occur. Our families and communities deserve justice."
Read about the Purdue Pharma verdict.