Purdue Pharma LP, one of the largest manufacturers of opioids in the United States, recently filed for bankruptcy in New York amidst a bevy of lawsuits related to the sale and marketing of opioid medications. Its now-former owners, the Sackler family, have been accused both individually and as Purdue’s board members of deliberately pushing its prescription painkillers, thus aggravating an opioid crisis that is estimated to kill approximately 130 people every day in the United States. Purdue’s attorneys have proposed a settlement that would resolve the thousands of suits currently pending against them, as well as resolve a federal inquiry into their activities.
Purdue Pharma is the manufacturer of several prescription opioid painkillers, including the popular pill Oxycontin, as well as Hysingla ER, an extended-release version of hydrocodone. It has been accused of pushing these medications using shady tactics, including financial incentives for doctors who promote prescribing their medications, as well as downplaying the risk of addiction that comes with using opioids. These tactics are blamed, in part, for the current opioid crisis, and Purdue has faced harsh criticism for profiting off customers who are addicted to their products.
Purdue, sadly, is not alone in these tactics. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., manufacturer of the fentanyl inhaler Subsys, was also forced into bankruptcy for the tactics it used to promote its medications. In fact, five of its former executives, including its founder, John Kapoor, were convicted of racketeering, bribery and other crimes related to their promotion of opioid painkillers, particularly fentanyl. Fentanyl has received special attention in the opioid crisis, as it is hundreds of times more potent than other painkillers and can be fatal even at shockingly low doses.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is not content with simply going after Purdue itself, however. She is looking to pierce the corporate veil and go after the Sackler family’s personal fortunes, spurred by Purdue allegedly transferring as much as $1 billion to Swiss bank accounts prior to them declaring bankruptcy. She alleges that the move was intended to protect the Sackler family’s fortunes from litigation, although whether that will bear out in court remains to be seen.
If you’ve become addicted to prescription painkillers, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Seeking the advice from an attorney experienced in medical malpractice and products liability will help assure you get the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Levine and Slavit, PLLC assist clients in collecting the damages they need to cope with opioid addiction. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our New York medical malpractice or products liability lawyers, call (888) LAW-8088 or fill out our contact form.