company:purdue pharma

  • Les cafards sont devenus résistants à la quasi totalité des insecticides. Étude parue dans Nature diffusée sur RT

    Estudio advierte que las cucarachas se están volviendo imposibles de matar
    http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/ciencia-tecnologia/estudio-advierte-que-las-cucarachas-estan-volviendo-imposibles-matar_28

    Probaron diferentes insecticidas en edificios de Indiana e Illinois, que alternaban cada mes. Encontraron que las poblaciones aumentaron o se mantuvieron estables

    Un grupo de investigadores expuso a cucarachas comunes a diferentes tipos de productos químicos durante seis meses, y encontraron que las poblaciones aumentaron o se mantuvieron estables.

    Las cucarachas están evolucionando rápidamente para ser resistentes a casi todo tipo de insecticida y pronto podrían ser casi imposible de matarlas solo con pesticidas, se desprende de un estudio publicado en la revista Nature difundido por el sitio web RT.

    En una búsqueda para determinar los métodos de erradicación más óptima de estos insectos, entomólogos de la Universidad Purdue de Indiana, Estados Unidos, establecieron un experimento para evaluar su resistencia a los pesticidas en generaciones sucesivas y analizaron concretamente la especie más común: la Blattella germanica, más conocida como cucaracha rubia o alemana.

  • Opioïdes : Nan Goldin vise le mécénat du Louvre - Libération
    https://www.liberation.fr/france/2019/07/01/opioides-nan-goldin-vise-le-mecenat-du-louvre_1737328

    La photographe a organisé lundi une action dans la cour du grand musée parisien, appelant sa direction à débaptiser une aile nommée en l’honneur d’une famille de mécènes détenant le laboratoire produisant l’Oxycontin, un puissant analgésique.

    Opioïdes : Nan Goldin vise le mécénat du Louvre

    Le Louvre n’imaginait sans doute pas voir un jour sa réputation ternie par la crise des opioïdes, ce scandale sanitaire majeur qui a déjà fait au moins 100 000 morts par overdose aux Etats-Unis. Le célèbre musée parisien doit pourtant faire face à une fronde inédite orchestrée par la photographe new-yorkaise Nan Goldin et le collectif PAIN (Pain Addiction Intervention Now), qui militent depuis deux ans pour alerter sur les dangers de l’Oxycontin. Ce puissant antidouleur, dérivé de l’opium, est commercialisé depuis 1996 par la société Purdue Pharma, elle-même détenue par la famille Sackler. Comme de nombreuses entreprises, le laboratoire américain est aussi un généreux mécène du monde de l’art, prêt à débourser de très grosses sommes pour voir son nom associé à des institutions culturelles de renom. Grâce à un don de 10 millions de francs au Louvre en 1996, la famille a ainsi obtenu que l’aile des antiquités orientales du Louvre soit nommée « aile Sackler », nom qu’elle porte toujours aujourd’hui. Douze salles consacrées à l’Iran ancien, au Levant et à l’Arabie ancienne, où trônent d’inestimables joyaux.

    Une association insupportable pour Nan Goldin, devenue la figure de proue de la lutte contre Sackler. Ancienne accro à l’Oxycontin dont elle est désormais sevrée, la photographe multiplie depuis 2017 les actions choc dans les musées financés par la famille américaine. Mais c’est la première fois qu’une action a lieu en France, face au musée le plus visité du monde.
    PUBLICITÉ
    inRead invented by Teads
    « Sackler on meurt, le Louvre couvre »

    Les touristes présents lundi devant la pyramide du Louvre ont d’abord cru à une performance artistique. Entièrement vêtue de noir, sa médaille de l’ordre des arts et des lettres attachée à la ceinture, Nan Goldin s’est avancée dans l’eau au milieu du bassin, face au bâtiment de verre. Puis des militants ont déployé derrière elle une large banderole orange avec ces mots en lettres noires : « Louvre, take down their name » (« Louvre, retirez leur nom »). Une trentaine d’activistes se sont ensuite massés autour de la photographe aux cris de « Shame on Sackler » et « Sackler on meurt, le Louvre couvre ». « Sackler est responsable de la mort de 200 personnes par jour aux Etats-Unis, lance Nan Goldin aux quelques journalistes présents. Le Louvre ne peut pas être complice de ce scandale. »

    Préparée en trois semaines dans le plus grand secret, l’action a été menée en collaboration avec l’association Aides. « On ne parle que des Etats-Unis mais d’autres pays commencent à être touchés par la crise des opioïdes, explique Fred Bladou, chargé de mission au sein de l’asso. Ce désastre sanitaire doit aussi nous interpeller sur la politique préventive que nous menons. Il démontre l’absurdité qu’il y a à criminaliser les usagers de drogue illicite alors qu’une des plus grosses crises sanitaires de l’histoire concerne une drogue licite. » En France, une centaine de médecins ont alerté fin juin dans les colonnes du JDD sur « le risque d’une crise sanitaire » alors que « 12 millions de Français utilisent des médicaments opiacés, sans être alertés sur leur potentiel addictif et sur les risques d’overdose ».
    Guggenheim et Tate Modern

    Accusés de commercialiser son produit phare en toute connaissance de cause, les Sackler sont aujourd’hui visés par plus de 1 600 actions en justice dans 35 Etats américains. En mars, ils ont dû verser 270 millions de dollars dans le cadre d’un accord à l’amiable passé avec l’Etat de l’Oklahoma. Sous la pression de PAIN, la polémique s’est étendue au mécénat culturel international. Ces derniers mois, plusieurs grands musées comme le Guggenheim et le Metropolitan Museum of Art à New York, ou la Tate Modern à Londres, ont annoncé publiquement qu’ils refuseraient à l’avenir toute donation de la famille Sackler. Un autre musée londonien, la National Portrait Gallery, a décliné en mars un don d’un million de livres (1,15 million d’euros). « Nous n’avons plus reçu aucune donation ni aucune demande de Sackler depuis 1996 », se défend-on au Louvre. Mais ce refus des dons ne suffit plus, pour Nan Goldin et les militants de PAIN. « Il faut que le Louvre soit le premier à débaptiser une aile, exigent-ils dans leur communiqué. Nous n’acceptons plus qu’une institution culturelle publique financée par l’Etat et les contribuables porte au pinacle une entreprise meurtrière. »

    Techniquement, rien n’empêche le musée parisien de retirer le nom des Sackler, le choix de baptiser certaines salles n’étant pas irrévocable, selon la charte interne. Mais la problématique du mécénat et des donateurs embarrassants va bien au-delà de ce cas. Elle est d’autant plus sensible qu’en vingt ans, le budget du Louvre a plus que doublé, alors même que la subvention de l’Etat est restée stable (environ 100 millions d’euros par an). Pour financer la différence et satisfaire les dix millions de visiteurs annuels, le musée n’a d’autre choix que de se tourner vers les acteurs privés, qui représentent entre 20 et 25 millions d’euros par an. Pour vérifier l’origine de ces fonds, le Louvre s’appuie aussi bien sur son réseau diplomatique dans les ambassades étrangères que sur Tracfin, le service antiblanchiment de Bercy. A l’époque, la donation des Sackler n’avait soulevé aucun problème. Vingt-trois ans et plusieurs dizaines de milliers de morts plus tard, c’est une tout autre affaire.
    Emmanuel Fansten

    #Opioides #Sackler #Louvre

  • Cory Doctorow: Fake News Is an Oracle – Locus Online
    https://locusmag.com/2019/07/cory-doctorow-fake-news-is-an-oracle

    In the same way, science fiction responds to our societal ideomotor responses. First, the authors write the stories about the futures they fear and rel­ish. These futures are not drawn from a wide-open field; rather, they make use of the writer’s (and audience’s) existing vocabulary of futuristic ideas: robots, internets and AIs, spaceships and surveil­lance devices. Writers can only get away with so much exposition in their fiction (though I’ve been known to push the limits) and so the imaginative leaps of a work of fiction are constrained by the base knowledge the writer feels safe in assuming their readers share.

    So the writers write the stories. Then the editors choose some of those stories to publish (or the writers publish them themselves). Then readers choose some of those stories to elevate to the discourse, making them popular and integrating them into our vocabulary about possible futures, good and bad. The process of elevation is complicated and has a lot of randomness in it (lucky breaks, skilled agents, PR wins, a prominent reviewer’s favor), but the single incontrovertible fact about a SF work’s popularity is that it has captured the public’s imagination. The warning in the tale is a warning that resonates with our current anxieties; the tale’s inspiration thrums with our own aspirations for the future.

    Reading a writer’s fiction tells you a lot about that writer’s fears and aspira­tions. Looking at the awards ballots and bestseller lists tells you even more about our societal fears and aspirations for the future. The system of writers and readers and editors and critics and booksellers and reviewers act as a kind of oracle, a societal planchette that our hands rest lightly upon, whose movements reveal secrets we didn’t even know we were keeping.

    Which brings me to “fake news.”

    “Fake news” is a nearly useless term, encompassing hoaxes, conspiracy theories, unfalsifiable statements, true facts spoken by people who are seek­ing to deceive audiences about the identity of the speaker, and as a catch-all meaning, “I read a thing on the internet that I disagree with.”

    But for all that, “fake news” is useful in one regard: the spread of a given hoax, or unfalsifiable statement, or truth delivered under color of falsehood, or conspiracy, or objectionable idea undeniably tells you that the idea has caught the public imagination. The fake news that doesn’t catch on may have simply been mishandled, but the fake news that does catch on has some plausibility that tells you an awful lot about the world we live in and how our fellow humans perceive that world.

    The anti-vaxers have a point. Not about the safety of vaccines. I believe they are 100% wrong about vaccines and that everyone who can should get a full schedule of vaccines for themselves and their children.

    But anti-vaxers have a point about the process.

    About 20 years ago, Purdue Pharma introduced a new blockbuster pain­killer to replace its existing flagship product, MS Contin, whose patent had expired. The new drug, Oxycontin, was said to be safe and long-lasting, with effects that would last an incredible 12 hours, without provoking the fast adaptation response characteristic of other opioids, which drives users to take higher and higher doses. What’s more, the company claimed that the addictive potential of opioids was vastly overstated, citing a one-paragraph letter to the New England Journal of Medicine penned by Boston University Medical Center’s Dr. Hershel Jick, who claimed that an internal, un-reviewed study showed that opioids could be safely given at higher doses, for longer times, than had been previously thought.

    Purdue Pharma weaponized the “Jick Letter,” making it one of the most-cited references in medical research history, the five most consequential sentences in the history of NEJM. Through a cluster of deceptive tactics – only coming to light now through a string of state lawsuits – Purdue cre­ated the opioid epidemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans and counting, more than died in the Vietnam War. Purdue made $31 billion. The Sackler family, owners of Purdue, are now richer than the Rockefellers.

    The regulators had every reason to know something terrible was going on, from the small town pharmacies ordering millions of pills to the dead piling up on the streets of American cities and towns. The only way they could miss the opioid crisis and its roots in junk science was if they were actively seeking not to learn about it – and no surprise, given how many top regulators come from industry, and have worked at an opioid giant (and more: they are often married to pharma execs, they’re godparents to other pharma execs’ kids, they’re executors of pharma execs’ estates – all the normal, tight social bonds from the top players in concentrated industries).

    Ten years ago, if you came home from the doctor’s with a prescription for oxy, and advice that they were not to be feared for their addictive potential, and an admonition that pain was “the fourth vital sign,” and its under-treatment was a great societal cruelty, you might have met someone who said that this was all bullshit, that you were being set up to be murdered by a family of ruthless billionaires whose watchdog had switched sides.

    You might have called that person an “opioid denier.”

    #Fake_news #Cory_Doctorow #Science_fiction #Vaccins #Opioides

  • Addiction sur ordonnance, la crise des antidouleurs, de Patrick Radden Keefe, C&F éditions -
    http://danactu-resistance.over-blog.com/2019/06/addiction-sur-ordonnance-la-crise-des-antidouleurs-de-

    L’hiver dernier, les éditions C&F ont lancé une nouvelle collection intitulée, Interventions, avec un essai de Patrick Radden Keefe : Addiction sur ordonnance, la crise des antidouleurs.

    Un livre dont la quatrième de couverture commence par cette phrase : « La santé publique est trop importante pour être laissée aux trusts pharmaceutiques. » Une telle approche ne pouvait nous laisser indifférents. D’autant plus que ce phénomène de société made in USA, traité dans l’ouvrage de ce journaliste d’investigation du New Yorker, commence à se faire jour en France et dans le monde entier. Alors de quoi s’agit-il ?

    Pays particulièrement contrasté, les États-Unis subissent depuis environ deux décennies, une crise des opioïdes, avec plus de 70 000 décès par overdose en 2017, entraînant drames familiaux, services sociaux et de secours débordés. Pourtant rien à voir avec les nombreux morts par overdose des drogues illégales habituelles dans ce pays durement frappé par les toxicomanies, suite à un échec évident de la répression depuis maintenant un demi-siècle.

    Il s’agit ici d’une situation inédite, bien expliquée par Patrick Radden Keefe, avec des contributions de deux journalistes de Libération, Frédéric Autran et Cécile Brajeul, ainsi que celle de l’éditeur Hervé Le Crosnier. Cette crise sanitaire majeure est née dans les cabinets médicaux inondés d’un antidouleur, OxyContin, de l’entreprise Purdue Pharma, propriété de la famille Sackler. Antidouleur soit disant non addictif.

    Au fil des années, les antidouleurs prescrits ont augmenté, leurs ravages mortels aussi, et les profits pharamineux de la famille Sackler également, devenant la seizième plus riche du pays et finançant des universités, des musées, comme le Louvre à Paris ! Comment un tel désastre a-t-il pu se produire ? Un scandale de plus à l’actif de Big Pharma dont les profits sont plus importants que nos vies. Un livre édifiant, utile, donnant à réfléchir sur la place de ces trusts, sur les techniques de marketing, mais aussi sur la dépendance des organismes publics face aux financements privés.

    Dan29000

    #C&F_éditions #Addiction_ordonnance #Patrick_Radden_Keefe

  • The Met Will Turn Down Sackler Money Amid Fury Over the Opioid Crisis - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/arts/design/met-museum-sackler-opioids.html

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art said on Wednesday that it would stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family linked to the maker of OxyContin, severing ties between one of the world’s most prestigious museums and one of its most prolific philanthropic dynasties.

    The decision was months in the making, and followed steps by other museums, including the Tate Modern in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, to distance themselves from the family behind Purdue Pharma. On Wednesday, the American Museum of Natural History said that it, too, had ceased taking Sackler donations.

    The moves reflect the growing outrage over the role the Sacklers may have played in the opioid crisis, as well as an energized activist movement that is starting to force museums to reckon with where some of their money comes from.

    “The museum takes a position of gratitude and respect to those who support us, but on occasion, we feel it’s necessary to step away from gifts that are not in the public interest, or in our institution’s interest,” said Daniel H. Weiss, the president of the Met. “That is what we’re doing here.”

    “There really aren’t that many people who are giving to art and giving to museums, in fact it’s a very small club,” said Tom Eccles, the executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. “So we have to be a little careful what we wish for here.”

    There is also the difficult question of where to draw a line. What sort of behavior is inexcusable?

    “We are not a partisan organization, we are not a political organization, so we don’t have a litmus test for whom we take gifts from based on policies or politics,” said Mr. Weiss of the Met. “If there are people who want to support us, for the most part we are delighted.”

    “We would only not accept gifts from people if it in some way challenges or is counter to the core mission of the institution, in exceptional cases,” he added. “The OxyContin crisis in this country is a legitimate and full-blown crisis.”

    Three brothers, Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler, bought a small company called Purdue Frederick in 1952 and transformed it into the pharmaceutical giant it is today. In 1996, Purdue Pharma put the opioid painkiller OxyContin on the market, fundamentally altering the company’s fortunes.

    The family’s role in the marketing of OxyContin, and in the opioid crisis, has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. Documents submitted this year as part of litigation by the attorney general of Massachusetts allege that members of the Sackler family directed the company’s efforts to mislead the public about the dangers of the highly addictive drug. The company has denied the allegations and said it “neither created nor caused the opioid epidemic.”

    Nan Goldin, a photographer who overcame an OxyContin addiction, has led demonstrations at institutions that receive Sackler money; in March 2018, she and her supporters dumped empty pill bottles in the Sackler Wing’s reflecting pool.

    “We commend the Met for making the ethical, moral decision to refuse future funding from the Sacklers,” a group started by Ms. Goldin, Prescription Addiction Intervention Now, or PAIN, said in a statement. “Fourteen months after staging our first protest there, we’re gratified to know that our voices have been heard.”

    The group also called for the removal of the Sackler name from buildings the family has bankrolled. Mr. Weiss said that the museum would not take the more drastic step of taking the family’s name off the wing, saying that it was not in a position to make permanent changes while litigation against the family was pending and information was still coming to light.

    The Met also said that its board had voted to codify how the museum accepts named gifts, formalizing a longstanding practice of circulating those proposals through a chain of departments. The decision on the Sacklers, Mr. Weiss said, was made by the Met leadership in consultation with the board.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Musées

  • La famille Sackler, maître des opioïdes et amie des arts
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2019/04/25/les-sackler-

    L’OxyContin, médicament hautement addictif, a fait la fortune de cette famille qui préfère parler de son mécénat plutôt que de sa responsabilité dans la crise sanitaire aux Etats-Unis.

    La cuillère a le fond calciné, et son manche est retourné pour lui donner plus de stabilité. Comme celles utilisées par les toxicomanes qui font fondre leur drogue. Sauf que l’ustensile pèse… près de 360 kg. Le 22 juin 2018, il bloquait l’entrée du siège de Purdue Pharma, à Stamford (Connecticut). La firme, propriété de la famille Sackler, produit l’OxyContin, puissant antidouleur fabriqué à partir de morphine de synthèse.

    Ce médicament a fait la fortune des Sackler, dont la richesse est estimée par l’agence Bloomberg à 13 milliards de dollars (11,6 milliards d’euros). Hautement addictif, il est surtout accusé d’avoir fait tomber dans la drogue des milliers d’Américains et d’être responsable de la crise des opioïdes qui frappe les Etats-Unis.
    L’OxyContin, commercialisé depuis 1995, aurait fait tomber dans la drogue des milliers d’Américains
    Depuis un an, l’artiste Domenic Esposito, 49 ans, mène une guérilla contre la famille Sackler avec sa cuillère. Il l’a de nouveau exposée le 5 avril à Washington, devant l’Agence américaine du médicament (FDA), à qui il est reproché d’avoir autorisé l’OxyContin. M. Esposito se bat pour son frère Danny, de dix-huit ans son cadet, qui a sombré dans la drogue au milieu des années 2000, en commençant par l’OxyContin, avant de se tourner vers l’héroïne.

    « Il a bousillé douze années de sa vie », confie Domenic Esposito, qui nous reçoit à Westwood, dans son atelier, en face de sa maison perdue dans les forêts du Massachusetts. Sa famille veut croire à une rémission, mais la désillusion n’est jamais loin. « Ma mère m’a souvent appelé en pleurant après avoir trouvé les résidus dans une cuillère, raconte-t-il. Cette cuillère est le symbole du combat macabre de ma famille. »

    Epidémie

    Ancien gestionnaire de capitaux reconverti dans l’art, M. Esposito a décidé de passer à l’action quand il s’est aperçu que son frère n’était pas un cas isolé.
    Le déclic s’est produit lors des journées de charité du diocèse de Boston, pendant le Carême de 2016. Catholique et bon orateur, il vante l’action du diocèse en faveur des victimes de la drogue. Et évoque son frère. Une fois son discours achevé, une dizaine de personnes viennent partager leur expérience. A chaque fois, le même scénario : une blessure banale mais nécessitant un antidouleur, et une ordonnance d’OxyContin. S’amorce alors l’engrenage de l’addiction avec, souvent, un basculement vers l’héroïne. Il s’agit bien d’une épidémie, provoquée par Purdue et les Sackler.
    Pourquoi ferrailler avec une œuvre d’art ? Parce que c’est là une des failles du clan. Si le nom de Purdue est peu connu, celui de la famille Sackler est, depuis un demi-siècle, synonyme de mécénat artistique. Au Metro­politan Museum (Met) et au Musée Guggenheim de New York, à la National Portrait Gallery de Londres ou au Louvre, à Paris, avec l’« aile ­Sackler des antiquités orientales », leur patronyme est omniprésent.


    Des personnes visitent l’aile Sackler au Metropolitan Museum of Art, à New York, le 28 mars.

    Puisque les Sackler s’abritent derrière les arts, les artistes veulent les faire périr par eux, comme le montre l’initiative de M. Esposito et comme le revendique la photographe américaine Nan Goldin, devenue dépendante à l’OxyContin après une opération. « Pour qu’ils nous écoutent, nous allons cibler leur philanthropie. Ils ont lavé leur argent maculé de sang grâce aux halls des musées et des uni­versités », accuse Mme Goldin, qui a photographié son propre calvaire.

    « Un blizzard d’ordonnances »

    En mars 2018, au Met, cinquante militants se sont allongés, feignant d’être morts, dans l’aile financée par les Sackler. En février 2019, au Musée Guggenheim, des activistes ont jeté de fausses ordonnances d’OxyContin, cruel rappel adressé à Richard Sackler, 74 ans, fils d’un des fondateurs et ex-PDG de Purdue, qui avait prédit « un blizzard d’ordonnances qui enterrerait la concurrence ».
    L’étau se resserre sur le front judiciaire, avec 1 600 plaintes déposées et des poursuites pénales engagées par les parquets de Boston et de New York

    Cela paie. En mars, le Guggenheim a fait savoir qu’il n’accepterait plus de dons de la famille, ­ tandis que Mortimer Sackler, ancien membre actif du conseil d’administration (CA) de Purdue et cousin de Richard, a dû se retirer du CA. A Londres, la Tate Gallery a fait de même, et la National Portrait Gallery a décliné une promesse de don de 1 million de livres (1,15 million d’euros).
    Parallèlement, l’étau se resserre sur le front judiciaire, avec 1 600 plaintes déposées et des poursuites pénales engagées par les parquets de Boston et de New York. Au point que la société pourrait déposer le bilan. Prolixes sur leurs activités philanthropiques et artistiques, les Sackler sont mutiques sur leur entreprise.


    La procureure générale de l’Etat de New York, Letitia James, annonce la plus importante poursuite en justice jamais intentée contre la famille Sackler, le 28 mars.

    L’histoire débute avec les trois frères Sackler, fils d’immigrants juifs de Galicie et de Pologne nés à Brooklyn. Tous trois médecins psychiatres, ils se lancent dans la pharmacie, en rachetant une petite entreprise de Greenwich Village, qui vend des produits comme la Betadine ou fait le marketing du Valium. Ils conquièrent des patients et, surtout, des médecins prescripteurs (en 1997, le patriarche, Arthur Sackler, a été distingué à titre posthume pour ses talents publicitaires).

    « Méthodes agressives »

    C’est cette recette qui, à partir de 1995, permet d’écouler l’OxyContin. A une époque où l’on cherche à apaiser les douleurs insupportables des malades du cancer, le produit apparaît comme une solution magique : il n’est pas addictif et soulage le patient pendant douze heures. Cela représente un formidable argument publicitaire, notamment parce qu’il se diffuse en continu.
    Cependant, au lieu d’être réservé aux patients en soins palliatifs, il est distribué comme de l’aspirine, à coups d’intéressement (pour les vendeurs) et de séminaires dans des palaces de Floride (pour les médecins). Les dosages très élevés créent une accoutumance mortifère. Les précieuses pilules, qui ont des qualités ­similaires à celles de l’héroïne lorsqu’elles sont brûlées, attirent l’attention des narcotrafiquants qui organisent un commerce de ­ contrebande très lucratif, avec la complicité de médecins véreux.

    Quand il apparaît que le produit est addictif, la firme choisit de ­blâmer les consommateurs. Dès 2003, l’Agence fédérale de ­contrôle des stupéfiants (DEA) l’accuse d’avoir, par ses « méthodes agressives », favorisé l’abus d’OxyContin et minimisé « les risques associés au médicament », raconte The New Yorker dans une enquête-fleuve publiée en octobre 2017 et intitulée « Un empire de douleur », qui estime à 35 milliards de dollars le chiffre d’affaires généré par le médicament.
    En 2007, Purdue accepte de verser 600 millions de dollars d’amende pour avoir prétendu que son médicament était moins addictif que ceux de ses concurrents. Trois ans plus tard, la firme élabore une nouvelle version de son produit, qui ne peut pas être transformée comme l’héroïne.

    Rumeurs de faillite

    Mais The New Yorker note qu’il s’agissait aussi de contrer l’arrivée de médicaments génériques, l’OxyContin devant tomber dans le domaine public en 2013. Et que l’effet paradoxal de l’affaire a été d’amplifier le basculement des drogués vers l’héroïne. « C’est un terrible paradoxe de l’histoire de l’OxyContin : la formule originelle a créé une génération accro aux pilules. Et sa reformulation (…) a créé une génération accro à l’héroïne. »
    L’Oklahoma, particulièrement touché, est parvenu fin mars à une transaction de 270 millions de dollars. Purdue préfère payer pour éviter un procès public et la publication de documents internes potentiellement désastreux. Des rumeurs de faillite courent, et certains Etats pourraient être tentés de conclure des transactions rapides plutôt que de ne rien obtenir.
    Pour d’autres, l’argent ne suffit pas. Il faut poursuivre les vrais coupables, et en premier lieu les Sackler. Les trois frères fondateurs sont morts, mais la famille, qui a touché 4,3 milliards de dollars de dividendes entre 2008 et 2016, dirige de facto la compagnie. Celle-ci ne s’exprime que par des communiqués laconiques, se disant soucieuse de « contribuer à lutter contre cette crise de santé publique complexe ».


    Des parents dénoncent la responsabilité de la famille Sackler dans la mort de leurs enfants, à Marlborough (Massachusetts), le 12 avril.

    Purdue répète qu’elle ne représente que 2 % des ventes d’opioïdes aux Etats-Unis, et ne peut être tenue, à elle seule, pour respon­sable de ladite crise. La procureure générale du Massachusetts, Maura Healey, ne s’en satisfait pas et a mis en examen huit membres de la famille impliqués dans l’entreprise. Elle s’appuie, entre autres, sur un courriel du patron de Purdue, Craig Landau, qui, selon la plainte, énonçait une évidence : « La famille dirigeait l’entreprise pharmaceutique mondiale Sackler et le conseil de surveillance jouait le rôle de PDG de facto. »

    « Les Sackler méritent la peine capitale »

    Les héritiers, qui estiment n’y être pour rien, se désolidarisent. C’est le cas des descendants du frère aîné et grand mécène Arthur, disparu en 1987 et dont les parts ont été récupérées non par ses enfants mais par ses frères. « Le rôle de Purdue [dans la crise des opioïdes] m’est odieux », a ainsi déclaré la fille d’Arthur, Elizabeth Sackler. Fondatrice d’un centre d’art féministe à Brooklyn, elle a aussi salué, dans le New York Times, « le courage de Nan Goldin ».
    Ses détracteurs ne l’entendent pas ainsi : ils estiment que ce sont les méthodes de marketing adoptées à partir des années 1950 par Arthur qui ont fait merveille pour l’OxyContin – méthodes auxquelles Purdue n’a renoncé que… début 2018. « Leur nom est terni pour toujours (…). Aujourd’hui, il y a des gens qui estiment que les Sackler méritent la peine capitale. Ils sont responsables de milliers de morts », accuse Domenic Esposito.
    Dans une manœuvre de sauve-qui-peut, les membres de la famille se retirent tous, depuis deux ans, du conseil d’administration de Purdue. Sans doute trop tard pour échapper aux poursuites de Mme Healey, à qui M. Esposito a offert sa cuillère militante.

  • The Purdue Case Is One in a Wave of Opioid Lawsuits. What Should Their Outcome Be ? | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-purdue-case-is-one-in-a-wave-of-opioid-lawsuits-what-should-their-out

    Two years ago, when I was reporting on the opioid epidemic in one West Virginia county, the exorbitant cost of it—both socially and financially—perpetually astonished me. Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug, yanks people back from the edge of death to live another day and maybe, in time, conquer their addiction. Watching paramedics administer it was like witnessing a miracle over and over again. But Narcan is expensive—it cost Berkeley County, where I was reporting, fifty dollars a dose at the time, and consumed two-thirds of its annual budget for all emergency medications. Since then, the price of naloxone, its generic name, has risen to nearly a hundred and fifty dollars per dose, not because the formula has improved or become costlier to make—the drug has been around since 1961, and off patent since 1985—but because pharmaceutical manufacturers know a profitable market when they see one. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an average of a hundred and thirty people fatally overdose on prescription or illicit opioids every day in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that four hundred thousand Americans, a war’s worth of dead, died between 1999 and 2017.

    In Berkeley County, though, as in so many places across the country, Narcan accounted for just one column on a staggering spreadsheet. Hospitals have had to care for babies born in withdrawal. Foster-care systems have been strained by an influx of children whose families had been turned upside down by addiction. In many communities, the rates of H.I.V. and hepatitis C have climbed, because, once OxyContin pills were reformulated to make them harder to abuse, in 2010, and changes in prescribing practices made them more difficult to obtain, people addicted to them began injecting heroin and fentanyl instead.

    Under the Master Settlement Agreement, the tobacco companies also committed to pay the states two hundred billion dollars over twenty-five years, and to keep paying them sums tied to cigarette sales in each state in perpetuity. But nothing in the M.S.A. specified how that money was to be spent, and, though one might expect that the bulk of it would be dedicated to the goals of the lawsuits—reducing smoking and promoting public health—that has not generally been the case. In many states, much of the money has gone not to anti-smoking efforts, or even to general spending on health, but instead to closing budget shortfalls, lowering taxes, and funding infrastructure. States treated the agreement like what it felt like: a no-strings-attached gift.

    Je ne suis pas vraiment convainc par la conclusion :

    The Oklahoma settlement with Purdue is a reasonable stab at insuring that the money won in opioid lawsuits doesn’t follow a similar route. Yet some public-health advocates I spoke with said that, in the future, they hope more settlement money will go directly to the treatment of addiction. There’s good evidence, for example, that medication-assisted treatment using buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone works well for many people trying to get off opioids, but most states don’t have enough of it.

    Diriger les amendes vers la lutte contre les opioides es tune bonne chose, parce qu’elle évite le pire (que l’amende serve à « baisser les impôts »)... mais cela ne peut pas être un projet dans le cadre des procès. Une fois la responsabilité établie, il faut démanteler ces entreprises et ramener les familles qui les possèdent à un niveau de vie normal, car les Sackler ont largement organisé la promotion d’OxyContin. Or les accords à l’amiable doivent être acceptés par les deux parties, et les construire comme une fin en soi, c’est déjà baisser les bras devant la puissance financière (et donc la qualité/quantité des avocats...). Surtout quand une partie de l’amende sera comme en Oklahoma payée « en nature » par des médicaments produits par Purdue Pharma !!!

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès

  • Recension : Patrick Radden Keefe, Frédéric Autran, Cécile Brajeul, Addiction sur ordonnance. La crise des antidouleurs
    https://journals.openedition.org/lectures/33475

    Ce livre interroge à la fois le fonctionnement des administrations de la santé publique et l’éthique médicale. Patrick Radden montre bien comment la cupidité et le profit permettent de corrompre des personnes haut placées qui vont ensuite travailler pour Purdue Pharma. Il dénonce également le fait que les institutions culturelles et universitaires qui reçoivent des dons de la part de l’entreprise pharmaceutique continuent à les accepter, sans remettre en question l’origine de ces financements.

    #C&F_éditions #Addiction_sur_ordonnance

  • Purdue’s Sackler family fights ’inflammatory’ Massachusetts opioid case | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-opioids-litigation/purdues-sackler-family-fights-inflammatory-massachusetts-opioid-case-idUSL1

    La nouvelle bataille juridique des Sackler : expliquer qu’ils étaient juste les crétins utiles de Purdue Pharma votant les budgets.

    BOSTON, April 2 (Reuters) - Members of the Sackler family behind OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP have asked a judge to toss a lawsuit by Massachusetts’ attorney general claiming they helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic, arguing it contains “misleading and inflammatory allegations.”

    The wealthy family in a motion on Monday argued that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who brought the suit, had mischaracterized internal records to create the “false impression” they personally directed privately-held Purdue’s marketing of painkillers.

    Her lawsuit, filed in June in Suffolk County Superior Court and revised earlier this year to include new allegations, was the first by a state to try to hold Sackler family members personally responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic.

    The case is among roughly 2,000 lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking to hold Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies responsible for the U.S. opioid crisis.

    Opioids were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Healey’s complaint cites records to argue that family members, including Purdue’s former President Richard Sackler, personally directed deceptive opioid marketing while making $4.2 billion from Purdue from 2008 to 2016.

    They did so even after Purdue and three executives in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the misbranding of OxyContin and agreed to pay a total of $634.5 million in penalties, the lawsuit said.

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    But in their motion, the Sacklers said nothing in the complaint supports allegations they personally took part in efforts to mislead doctors and the public about the benefits and addictive risks of opioids.

    They said their role was limited to that of typical corporate board members who participated in “routine” votes to ratify the management’s staffing and budget proposals.

    “Not a single document shows an individual director engaging in any unlawful conduct regarding the sale of prescription opioids or ordering anyone else to do so,” the Sacklers’ lawyers wrote.

    Healey’s office had no comment.

    At least 35 states have cases pending against Purdue. A handful have also named Sackler family members as defendants, including Richard Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Mortimer D.A. Sackler.

    Last week, Purdue reached its first settlement in the recent wave of lawsuits, agreeing with the Sacklers to a $270 million deal with Oklahoma’s attorney general. The Sacklers were not named as defendants in Oklahoma’s lawsuit.

    Purdue had been exploring filing for bankruptcy before the accord’s announcement, Reuters reported in early March. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston Editing by Noeleen Walder and Tom Brown)

    #Opioides #Sackler #Cynisme

  • Addiction sur ordoannance : retour sur la crise des opioides et le récent accord Oklahoma/Purdue Pharma.
    https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    Bonjour,

    Permettez-moi de revenir sur la crise des opioides, dont vous entendez sûrement parler de plus en plus régulièrement dans les médias. Notamment parce qu’elle commence à se développer en France même.

    Nous avons publié en février avec C&F éditions un petit ouvrage qui se lit comme un roman noir (très noir) du journaliste Patrick Radden Keefe.

    Addiction sur Ordonnance : la crise des anti-douleur
    Collections interventions, 1. 16 €
    ISBN : 978-2-915825-90-9
    https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    Récemment, des articles dans la presse française viennent de mentionner « Aux Etats-Unis, victoire judiciaire majeure contre les fabricants d’opioïdes » (le Monde avec AFP, 27 mars). Malheureusement cet article (et d’autres sur le même sujet) reste peu clair sur l’étendue de la sanction et la temporalité des décisions judiciaires.

    En lisant l’ouvrage, les rédacteurs de l’AFP auraient appris que la famille Sackler et l’entreprise Purdue Pharma avaient déjà à plusieurs reprise échappé à des procès en « plaidant coupable ». Et en versant des sommes conséquentes (600 millions de dollars + 35 millions d’amende en 2006 dans un procès intenté par 5000 patients par exemple). La logique de défense des Sackler a toujours été d’éviter les procès qui rendraient publics les documents internes de l’entreprise et de la famille. Donc d’accepter de payer en plaidant coupable. Une tactique que le sénateur républicain de Pennsylvanie a explicité : « Des permis coûteux pour enfreindre les lois ».

    Ajoutons que récemment, l’entreprise Purdue Pharma a envisagé de se mettre en faillite (pour éviter les procès). Il faut dire que la famille Sackler a investi dans une autre entreprise, Rhodes, qui se partage maintenant la vente des opioides avec Purdue. Et que l’extension internationale se fait sous le nom de Mundipharma, qui oeuvre notamment en France (sa création et son développement économique ont même justifié la décoration de Raymond Sackler de la Légion d’Honneur en 2012 !!!)

    Pour finir sur le cynisme de cette famille, ajoutons un mot sur le règlement à l’amiable adopté par l’Oklahoma (on peut comprendre cet Etat, tant l’incertitude et la durée des procès ne permet pas de faire face aux coût exorbitants et qui se conjuguent au présent de la prise en charge publique des dégâts causés par les opiacés). Dans ce règlement figurent le « don » par Purdue Pharma de 20 millions de dollars en médicaments contre l’addiction. Car c’est devenu depuis 2014 (projet Tango) le nouveau rayon de développement de Purdue Pharma.

    Un cynisme à donner la chair de poule... mais je ne peux pas en un seul mail vous raconter tout ce que l’on découvre encore dans le livre.

    Bonne lecture

    Hervé Le Crosnier

  • Lawsuits Lay Bare Sackler Family’s Role in Opioid Crisis - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/health/sacklers-oxycontin-lawsuits.html

    The Sacklers had a new plan.

    It was 2014, and the company the family had controlled for two generations, Purdue Pharma, had been hit with years of investigations and lawsuits over its marketing of the highly addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin, at one point pleading guilty to a federal felony and paying more than $600 million in criminal and civil penalties.

    But as the country’s addiction crisis worsened, the Sacklers spied another business opportunity. They could increase their profits by selling treatments for the very problem their company had helped to create: addiction to opioids.

    The filings cite numerous records, emails and other documents showing that members of the family continued to push aggressively to expand the market for OxyContin and other opioids for years after the company admitted in a 2007 plea deal that it had misrepresented the drug’s addictive qualities and potential for abuse.

    In addition to New York and Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Utah have filed suit against members of the family. Last month, a coalition of more than 500 counties, cities and Native American tribes named the Sacklers in a case in the Southern District of New York, bringing the family into a bundle of 1,600 opioids cases being overseen by a federal court judge in Cleveland.

    In 2009, two years after the federal guilty plea, Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a board member, demanded to know why the company wasn’t selling more opioids, email traffic cited by Massachusetts prosecutors showed.

    In 2011, as states looked for ways to curb opioid prescriptions, family members peppered the sales staff with questions about how to expand the market for the drugs. Mortimer asked if they could sell a generic version of OxyContin in order to “capture more cost sensitive patients,” according to one email. Kathe, his half sister, suggested studying patients who had switched to OxyContin to see if they could find patterns that could help them win new customers, according to court filings in Massachusetts.

    The lawsuits brought by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts, Letitia James and Maura Healey, named eight Sackler family members: Kathe, Mortimer, Richard, Jonathan and Ilene Sackler Lefcourt — children of either Mortimer or Raymond Sackler — along with Theresa Sackler, the elder Mortimer’s widow; Beverly Sackler, Raymond’s widow; and David Sackler, a grandson of Raymond.

    Purdue’s business was fundamentally changed after the F.D.A. approved OxyContin in 1995. The company marketed the drug as a long-acting painkiller that was less addictive than shorter-acting rivals like Percocet and Vicodin, a strategy aimed at reducing the stigma attached to opioids among doctors.

    While the Sacklers “have reduced Purdue’s operations and size, Rhodes continues to grow and sell opioids for the benefit of the Sackler families,” the New York suit contends.

    By 2016, Rhodes, though little known to the public, had a greater share of the American prescription opioid market than Purdue, according to a Financial Times analysis. Together, the companies ranked seventh in terms of the market share of opioids.

    Purdue temporarily abandoned plans to pursue Project Tango in 2014, but revived the idea two years later, this time pursuing a plan to sell naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug, according to the Massachusetts filing. A few months later, in December 2016, Richard, Jonathan and Mortimer Sackler discussed buying a company that used implantable drug pumps to treat opioid addiction.

    In recent years, the Sacklers and their companies have been developing products for opioid and overdose treatment on various tracks. Last year, Richard Sackler was awarded a patent for a version of buprenorphine, a drug that blocks opioid receptors, administered by mouth in a thin film. In March, the F.D.A. fast tracked the company’s application for an injectable drug for emergency treatment of overdoses.

    Fait très rare, cet article comporte de nombreuses photos des membres de la famille Sackler

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès

  • Museums Cut Ties With Sacklers as Outrage Over Opioid Crisis Grows - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/arts/design/sackler-museums-donations-oxycontin.html

    In Paris, at the Louvre, lovers of Persian art knew there was only one place to go: the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities. Want to find the long line for the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Head for the soaring, glass-walled Sackler Wing.

    For decades, the Sackler family has generously supported museums worldwide, not to mention numerous medical and educational institutions including Columbia University, where there is a Sackler Institute, and Oxford, where there is a Sackler Library.

    But now some favorite Sackler charities are reconsidering whether they want the money at all, and several have already rejected any future gifts, concluding that some family members’ ties to the opioid crisis outweighed the benefits of their six- and sometimes seven-figure checks.

    In a remarkable rebuke to one of the world’s most prominent philanthropic dynasties, the prestigious Tate museums in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, where a Sackler sat on the board for many years, decided in the last week that they would no longer accept gifts from their longtime Sackler benefactors. Britain’s National Portrait Gallery announced it had jointly decided with the Sackler Trust to cancel a planned $1.3 million donation, and an article in The Art Newspaper disclosed that a museum in South London had returned a family donation last year.

    On Monday, as the embarrassment grew with every new announcement, a Sackler trust and a family foundation in Britain issued statements saying they would suspend further philanthropy for the moment.

    “The current press attention that these legal cases in the United States is generating has created immense pressure on the scientific, medical, educational and arts institutions here in the U.K., large and small, that I am so proud to support,” Theresa Sackler, the chair of the Sackler Trust, said in a statement. “This attention is distracting them from the important work that they do.”

    The Guggenheim’s move was perhaps the most surprising, and not just because it was the first American institution known to cut ties with its Sackler supporters.

    Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a son of Mortimer Sackler, sat on the Guggenheim’s board for nearly 20 years and the family gave the museum $9 million between 1995 and 2015, including $7 million to establish and support the Sackler Center for Arts Education.

    The Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum had been the scene of protests related to the Sacklers. One last month, led by the photographer Nan Goldin, who overcame an OxyContin addiction, involved dropping thousands of slips of white paper from the iconic gallery spiral into its rotunda, a reference to a court document that quoted Richard Sackler, who ran Purdue Pharma, heralding a “blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.”

    Last Thursday, the Guggenheim, like other American museums, stated simply that “no contributions from the Sackler family have been received since 2015 and no additional gifts are planned.”

    But a day later, amid more articles about British museums rejecting Sackler money, the Guggenheim amended its statement: “The Guggenheim does not plan to accept any gifts.”

    #Opioides #Sackler #Philanthropie #Musées

  • Aux Etats-Unis, victoire judiciaire majeure contre les fabricants d’opioïdes
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/03/27/etats-unis-premiere-victoire-judiciaire-contre-les-fabricants-d-opiaces_5441

    Le laboratoire pharmaceutique, Purdue, et sa famille propriétaire, les Sackler, ont accepté de payer 270 millions de dollars (environ 240 millions d’euros) pour mettre fin à une plainte de l’Etat de l’Oklahoma liée à la crise des opioïdes. Il s’agit d’une victoire majeure contre les industriels accusés d’avoir favorisé la dépendance aux drogues qui ravage les Etats-Unis.

    Le procureur général de cet Etat du Midwest, qui a vu comme d’autres exploser le nombre d’overdoses mortelles ces dernières années, a annoncé mardi 26 mars, ce paiement dans le cadre d’un accord à l’amiable passé avec le producteur de l’OxyContin, un antidouleur au premier rang des accusés dans cette crise.

    Ce sont les pratiques marketing des compagnies pharmaceutiques qui sont visées : en encourageant les médecins à prescrire, voire à surprescrire, ces analgésiques hautement addictifs, elles sont accusées d’avoir précipité des millions d’Américains dans l’addiction aux médicaments ou aux drogues dures, comme l’héroïne, ou de synthèse, comme le fentanyl.
    Article réservé à nos abonnés Lire aussi Les Etats-Unis tentent de réagir face à la crise des opioïdes
    Deux autres laboratoires attaqués

    Les 270 millions de dollars serviront en grande partie à financer le centre de recherche sur les dépendances de l’université publique de Tulsa, qui va recevoir de Purdue Pharma 102,5 millions de dollars dès maintenant, plus 75 millions de dollars sur cinq ans de la famille Sackler, et 20 millions de dollars en médicaments destinés à traiter les personnes dépendantes, a annoncé le procureur Mike Hunter.

    « C’est une victoire monumentale » dans la bataille contre la crise « cauchemardesque » des opioïdes qui ravage les Etats-Unis, même si ce n’est qu’« un premier pas », a-t-il fait valoir.

    L’accord à l’amiable ne met pas fin à la plainte déposée en 2017 par l’Oklahoma contre les fabricants d’opioïdes, qui attaquait non seulement Purdue, mais aussi Johnson & Johnson et Teva. Ces derniers restent attendus au tribunal le 28 mai, pour se défendre d’avoir promu ces médicaments alors même qu’ils connaissaient leurs effets néfastes.

    Ce devrait être le premier grand procès contre les laboratoires dans cette crise des opioïdes déclarée « urgence de santé publique » par le gouvernement Trump fin 2017. A moins qu’eux aussi négocient d’ici là un accord avec l’Oklahoma, ce que n’a pas complètement exclu M. Hunter.
    Lire le reportage : Aux Etats-Unis, la ville de Manchester face au fléau des overdoses d’opiacées
    Au moins 1 600 plaintes au niveau fédéral

    D’autres accords à l’amiable pourraient suivre dans d’autres juridictions où Purdue Pharma a été attaqué pour des faits similaires : au moins 1 600 plaintes ont été enregistrées au niveau fédéral, supervisées par un juge de Cleveland (Ohio), et des centaines au niveau des Etats, dont New York et le Massachusetts. Face à cette avalanche de plaintes, la direction du laboratoire avait évoqué la possibilité de se déclarer en faillite.

    Le procureur Hunter a cependant fait savoir qu’il avait tout fait pour s’assurer que la société ne se mettrait pas « en faillite à court terme », pour pouvoir honorer le paiement promis. Le président de Purdue, le docteur Craig Landau, a assuré que l’accord trouvé reflétait « la détermination [de la firme] à jouer un rôle moteur pour résoudre la crise des opioïdes ». Un porte-parole de la famille Sackler a lui aussi affirmé « sa détermination à contribuer substantiellement à sauver des vies ».
    Regarder le reportage : Opiacés, portrait d’une Amérique à la dérive
    70 000 Américains morts d’overdoses en 2017
    Jérôme Sessini/Magnum Photos

    Si d’autres fabricants de médicaments opioïdes sont sur la sellette, Purdue Pharma et la famille Sackler – de grands philanthropes dont le nom orne de nombreux musées aux Etats-Unis et en Europe – ont été la première cible des critiques. Les Sackler ont amassé des milliards de dollars grâce à l’OxyContin.

    Or, on sait aujourd’hui que l’OxyContin et d’autres opioïdes contre la douleur ont été surprescrits par le milieu médical pendant des années, entraînant une dépendance croissante aux opioïdes et poussant les consommateurs vers des drogues plus fortes comme le fentanyl et l’héroïne, avec pour effet de multiplier les overdoses.

    Les plaintes accusent les fabricants d’avoir promu agressivement ces médicaments auprès du corps médical alors qu’ils connaissaient leurs effets addictifs et qu’ils auraient dû limiter leurs ordonnances à des maladies bien précises.
    Selon les derniers chiffres des Centres pour la prévention des maladies (CDC), quelque 70 000 Américains sont morts d’overdoses aux Etats-Unis, 10 % de plus qu’en 2016. Dans des métropoles comme New York, les opioïdes font désormais davantage de victimes qu’accidents de la route et homicides réunis. Cette explosion d’overdoses a contribué à faire baisser l’espérance de vie aux Etats-Unis en 2017, pour la troisième année consécutive.

  • Sackler family money is now unwelcome at three major museums. Will others follow? - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/two-major-museums-are-turning-down-sackler-donations-will-others-follow/2019/03/22/20aa6368-4cb9-11e9-9663-00ac73f49662_story.html

    By Philip Kennicott
    Art and architecture critic
    March 23

    When the National Portrait Gallery in London announced Tuesday that it was forgoing a grant from the Sackler family, observers could be forgiven for a certain degree of skepticism about the decision’s impact on the art world. The Sacklers, owners of the pharmaceutical behemoth Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, had promised $1.3 million to support a public-engagement project. The money, no doubt, was welcome, but the amount involved was a relative pittance.

    Now another British institution and a major U.S. museum, the Guggenheim, have said no to Sackler money, which has become synonymous with a deadly and addictive drug that boosted the family fortune by billions of dollars and caused immeasurable suffering. The Tate art galleries, which include the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain in London as well as outposts in Liverpool and Cornwall, announced Thursday that it will also not accept money from the family.

    The Sacklers are mired in legal action, investigations and looming congressional inquiries about their role in marketing a drug blamed for a significant early role in an epidemic of overdose deaths that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans since 1997.

    Is this a trend? These moves may affect immediate plans but won’t put much of a dent in the museums’ budgets. The impact on the Sackler family’s reputation, however, will force American arts institutions to pay attention.

    The Sackler family, which includes branches with differing levels of culpability and involvement with the issue, has a long history of donating to cultural organizations. Arthur M. Sackler, who gave millions of dollars’ worth of art and $4 million for the opening of the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery in 1987, died long before the OxyContin scandal began. Members of the family involved with OxyContin vigorously contest the claims that Perdue Pharma was unscrupulous in the promotion of a drug, though company executives pleaded guilty to violations involving OxyContin in 2007 and the company paid more than $600 million in fines.

    A million here or there is one thing. Having a whole building named for a family with blood on its hands is another, and seeking yet more money for new projects will become even more problematic. And every institution that bears the Sackler family name, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (which has a Sackler wing) and the University Art Museum at Princeton (which has a Sackler gallery) is now faced with the distasteful proposition of forever advertising the wealth of a family that is deeply implicated in suffering, death and social anomie.

    Will any major U.S. institution that has benefited from Sackler largesse remove the family’s name?

    The National Portrait Gallery in London. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
    The usual arguments against this are stretched to the breaking point. Like arguments about Koch family money, which has benefited cultural institutions but is, to many, inextricably linked to global warming and the impending collapse of the Anthropocene, the issues at stake seem, at first, to be consistency and pragmatism. The pragmatic argument is this: Cultural organizations need the money, and if they don’t take it, that money will go somewhere else. And this leads quickly to the argument from consistency. Almost all of our major cultural organizations were built up with money derived from family fortunes that are tainted — by the exploitation of workers, slavery and the lasting impacts of slavery, the depredations of colonialism and the destruction of the environment. So why should contemporary arts and cultural groups be required to set themselves a higher, or more puritanical, standard when it comes to corrupt money? And if consistency matters, should we now be parsing the morality of every dollar that built every opera house and museum a century ago?

    Both arguments are cynical. Arts organizations that engage in moral money laundering cannot make a straight-faced claim to a higher moral purpose when they seek other kinds of funding, including donations and membership dollars from the general public and support from government and foundations. But the consistency argument — that the whole system is historically wrapped up in hypocrisy about money — needs particular reconsideration in the age of rapid information flows, which create sudden, digital moral crises and epiphanies.

    [The Sacklers have donated millions to museums. But their connection to the opioid crisis is threatening that legacy.]

    Moral (or social) hazard is a funny thing. For as long as cultural institutions are in the money-laundering business, companies such as Perdue Pharma will have an incentive to take greater risks. If the taint of public health disaster can be washed away, then other companies may choose to put profits over public safety. But this kind of hazard isn’t a finely calibrated tool. It involves a lot of chance and inconsistency in how it works. That has only increased in the age of viral Twitter campaigns and rapid conflagrations of public anger fueled by new social media tools.

    Why is it that the Sackler family is in the crosshairs and not any of the other myriad wealthy people whose money was made through products that are killing us? Because it is. And that seeming randomness is built into the way we now police our billionaires. It seems haphazard, and sometimes unfair, and inefficient. Are there worse malefactors scrubbing their toxic reputations with a new hospital wing or kids literacy program? Surely. Maybe they will find their money unwelcome at some point in the future, and maybe not. The thing that matters is that the risk is there.

    [Now would be a good time for museums to think about our gun plague]

    The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
    Much of the Sackler family money was made off a drug that deadens the mind and reduces the human capacity for thought and feeling. There is a nice alignment between that fact and what may now, finally, be the beginnings of a new distaste about using Sackler money to promote art and cultural endeavors, which must always increase our capacities for engagement with the world. It is immensely satisfying that the artist Nan Goldin, whose work has explored the misery of drug culture, is playing a leading role in the emerging resistance to Sackler family money. (Goldin, who was considering a retrospective of her work at the National Portrait Gallery, said to the Observer: “I have told them I would not do it if they take the Sackler money.”)

    More artists should take a lead role in these conversations, to the point of usurping the usual prerogatives of boards and executive committees and ethical advisory groups to make decisions about corrupt money.

    [‘Shame on Sackler’: Anti-opioid activists call out late Smithsonian donor at his namesake museum]

    Ultimately, it is unlikely that any arts organization will manage to find a consistent policy or somehow finesse the challenge of saying all that money we accepted from gilded-age plutocrats a century ago is now clean. But we may think twice about taking money from people who are killing our planet and our people today. What matters is that sometimes lightning strikes, and there is hell to pay, and suddenly a name is blackened forever. That kind of justice may be terrifying and swift and inconsistent, but it sends a blunt message: When the world finally learns that what you have done is loathsome, it may not be possible to undo the damage through the miraculous scrubbing power of cultural detergent.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Musées #Shame

  • Exclusive: OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Exploring Bankruptcy - Sources | Investing News | US News
    https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2019-03-04/exclusive-oxycontin-maker-purdue-pharma-exploring-bankruptcy-sources

    By Mike Spector, Jessica DiNapoli and Nate Raymond

    (Reuters) - OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from roughly 2,000 lawsuits alleging the drugmaker contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

    The potential move shows how Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

    Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the pain treatments.

    Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow Purdue to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

    Shares of Endo International Plc and Insys Therapeutics Inc, two companies that like Purdue have been named in lawsuits related to the U.S. opioid epidemic, closed down 17 percent and more than 2 percent, respectively, on Monday.

    More than 1,600 lawsuits accusing Purdue and other opioid manufacturers of using deceptive practices to push addictive drugs that led to fatal overdoses are consolidated in an Ohio federal court. Purdue has held discussions to resolve the litigation with plaintiffs’ lawyers, who have often compared the cases to widespread lawsuits against the tobacco industry that resulted in a $246 billion settlement in 1998.

    “We will oppose any attempt to avoid our claims, and will continue to vigorously and aggressively pursue our claims against Purdue and the Sackler family,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said. Connecticut has a case against Purdue and the Sacklers.

    BANKRUPTCY FILING NOT CERTAIN

    A Purdue bankruptcy filing is not certain, the sources said. The Stamford, Connecticut-based company has not made any final decisions and could instead continue fighting the lawsuits, they said.

    “As a privately-held company, it has been Purdue Pharma’s longstanding policy not to comment on our financial or legal strategy,” Purdue said in a statement.

    “We are, however, committed to ensuring that our business remains strong and sustainable. We have ample liquidity and remain committed to meeting our obligations to the patients who benefit from our medicines, our suppliers and other business partners.”

    Purdue faces a May trial in a case brought by Oklahoma’s attorney general that, like others, accuses the company of contributing to a wave of fatal overdoses by flooding the market with highly addictive opioids while falsely claiming the drugs were safe.

    Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump also said he would like to sue drug companies over the nation’s opioid crisis.

    Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, a sixfold increase from 1999, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Purdue hired law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for restructuring advice, Reuters reported in August, fueling concerns among litigants, including Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, that the company might seek bankruptcy protection before the trial.

    Companies facing widespread lawsuits sometimes seek bankruptcy protection to address liabilities in one court even when their financial condition is not dire. California utility PG&E Corp filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after deadly wildfires raised the prospect of large legal bills even though its stock remained worth billions of dollars.

    DECEPTIVE MARKETING

    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in June became the first attorney general to sue not just Purdue but Sackler family members. Records in her case, which Purdue has asked a judge to dismiss, accused Sackler family members of directing deceptive marketing of opioids for years while enriching themselves to the tune of $4.2 billion.

    Some other states have since also sued the Sacklers. The Sacklers are currently discussing creating a nonprofit backed by family financial contributions to combat addiction and drug abuse, a person familiar with their deliberations said.

    The drugmaker downplayed the possibility of a bankruptcy filing in a Feb. 22 court filing in the Oklahoma case. “Purdue is still here - ready, willing and eager to prove in this Court that the State’s claims are baseless,” the company said in court papers.

    Sales of OxyContin and other opioids have fallen amid public concern about their addictive nature, and as restrictions on opioid prescribing have been enacted. OxyContin generated $1.74 billion in sales in 2017, down from $2.6 billion five years earlier, according to the most recent data compiled by Symphony Health Solutions.

    Purdue Chief Executive Officer Craig Landau has cut hundreds of jobs, stopped marketing opioids to physicians and moved the company toward developing medications for sleep disorders and cancer since taking the helm in 2017.

    In July, Purdue appointed a new board chairman, Steve Miller, a restructuring veteran who previously held leadership positions at troubled companies including auto-parts giant Delphi and the once-teetering insurer American International Group Inc.

    Mortimer D.A. Sackler no longer sits on Purdue’s board, according to a filing the company made with the Connecticut secretary of state late Monday.

    The Oklahoma case and other lawsuits seek damages from Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies accused of fueling the opioid crisis. In addition to lawsuits consolidated in an Ohio federal court, more than 300 cases are pending in state courts, and dozens of state attorneys general have sued manufacturers, including Purdue.

    Settlement discussions have not yet resulted in a deal.

    Purdue and three executives in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the misbranding of OxyContin and agreed to pay a total of $634.5 million in penalties, according to court records.

    (Reporting by Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli in New York and Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

    Copyright 2019 Thomson Reuters.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Bankruptcy

  • 700 000 morts sur ordonnance
    http://www.dedefensa.org/article/700-000-morts-sur-ordonnance

    700 000 morts sur ordonnance

    C’est à peu près le chiffre des décès par overdose d’Oxycontin depuis sa mise sur le marché américain il y a 24 ans.

    Il a fallu l’opiniâtre obstination des journalistes d’investigation d’un media orienté vers la dénonciation des abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, des firmes et d’autres institutions pour que l’opinion en sache un peu plus sur les politiques commerciales de la firme Purdue Pharma.

    Purdue est le fabricant de l’antalgique oxycodone, vendu le plus souvent sous le nom d’Oxycontin(r) depuis 1995. Cet opioïde de synthèse est deux fois plus efficace contre la douleur que la morphine naturelle. Il est aussi un bon euphorisant et donc doué d’une capacité à induire rapidement une dépendance à sa consommation.

    Propublica a obtenu une copie des 337 pages du (...)

  • L’addiction, une garantie pour les profits | Entre les lignes entre les mots
    https://entreleslignesentrelesmots.blog/2019/02/27/laddiction-une-garantie-pour-les-profits

    par Didier Epsztajn

    Patrick Radden Keefe débute son texte par le Metropolitan Museum, l’« aile Sackler » du nom d’une « des plus grandes dynasties de philanthropes américains ». Il interroge l’origine de cette richesse, « aussi obscure que celle des barons voleurs », l’entreprise familiale Purdue Pharma.

    Une entreprise privée, un antalgique, OxyContin, un opioïde et ses propriétés addictives, des campagnes marketing, le financement de médecins pour construire des « arguments »… « Depuis 1999, 300 000 à 500 000 Américains selon les évaluations, sont morts d’overdose liées à OxyContin ou d’autres opioïdes délivrés sur ordonnance ».

    L’auteur analyse la place du commerce – et non de la pratique médicale – ayant fait la fortune des frères Sackler, les campagnes de séduction des médecins, la multiplication des ordonnances de tranquillisants, les vertus thérapeutique du pavot à opium et les risques addictifs, la commercialisation de « jumbo pills », les choix liés aux « impératifs » de rentabilité, les informations – véritables publicités – fournies aux médecins, « l’entreprise persuadait les médecins que le médicament était sans danger en s’appuyant sur des documents produits par des médecins payés ou fiancés par l’entreprise », la diffusion des comprimés sur le marché noir, le refus de reconnaître le caractère addictif du médicament, le rejet de la responsabilité sur les seul·es individu·es (une ritournelle du néolibéralisme), la sur-prescription et les énormes profits, les arrangements pour éviter les procès, le blocage de la concurrence des médicaments génériques, le lobbyisme…

    Une mise en cause tant de la marchandisation de la santé, des mensonges et de la propagande des laboratoires pharmaceutiques, des addictions propagées par le capitalisme, des systèmes privatisés de soins et de la place des fondations – du cynisme de la philanthropie – sans oublier leur rôle dans l’évitement fiscal…

    Une nouvelle collection interventions (« il s’agit de dévoiler les détournements, les enclosures et les accaparements ou d’évoquer des solutions ouvertes, originales et coopératives ») à suivre.

    #Addiction_ordonnance #C&F_éditions #Sackler #Opioides #Patrick_Radden_Keefe

  • ENVOYE SPECIAL. « Ce sont des dealers de drogue légaux ! » : une victime d’un antidouleur à base d’opium raconte sa descente aux enfers
    https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/usa/video-ce-sont-des-dealers-de-drogue-legaux-une-victime-de-l-addiction-a

    Lauren Cambra, qui souffrait d’une sciatique, a été choisie à la fin des années 1990 par un laboratoire pharmaceutique pour incarner les vertus de l’OxyContin, un antidouleur à base d’opium. Sur une vidéo publicitaire où elle a accepté de figurer, à la demande de son médecin, on la voit, radieuse, nager avec ses petits-enfants dans sa piscine. Le Dr Spanos apparaît lui aussi dans le film, pour « réfuter la légende selon laquelle les opioïdes conduisent, à terme, à l’addiction et la passivité. »
    Encouragé par les médecins

    Ce film était diffusé dans la salle d’attente de nombreux médecins. Il a été financé intégralement par Purdue Pharma, le laboratoire qui produit l’OxyContin (il a été condamné en 2007 à 634 millions de dollars d’amende pour avoir « désinformé » les médecins). Après une campagne de communication massive, ces pilules ont inondé le marché américain. Présenté comme un médicament miracle, l’OxyContin est, avec d’autres opioïdes, à l’origine d’une des plus graves crises sanitaires qu’aient connues les Etats-Unis. Ce type de médicaments continue à tuer : 72 000 personnes sont mortes d’overdose en 2017.
    Des vidéos financées par le laboratoire

    « Ils se sont fait des dizaines de millions de dollars grâce à ces vidéos. Ils ont fait ça pour l’argent, par pure avidité ! dénonce Lauren aujourd’hui. Ce sont des dealers de drogue ! Des dealers légaux, mais des dealers. Si demain vous allez chez le médecin et qu’il vous prescrit de l’OxyContin, écoutez-moi : partez en courant ! »

    Vingt ans plus tard, Lauren Cambra est la seule patiente apparaissant dans cette vidéo promotionnelle qui ait survécu et accepté d’en parler. Elle avait toujours refusé de se confier à des journalistes. L’histoire qu’elle raconte à « Envoyé spécial » est faite de douleur et de honte.

    Au début, l’OxyContin soulage les douleurs dues à sa sciatique de manière miraculeuse. Mais très vite, les effets s’estompent, et il faut augmenter la dose. Cela provoque une somnolence, des absences. Lauren perd son emploi, son assurance, et ne peut plus se payer les pilules.
    « J’étais pratiquement SDF »

    « Et là, confie-t-elle, ç’a été le début de… oh, mon Dieu ! C’est là que j’ai compris à quel point cette pilule était addictive. Parce que j’ai arrêté de la prendre. Et là… Oh là là… j’ai tenu douze heures, quatorze heures, seize heures… et j’étais à l’agonie. Mon corps n’en pouvait plus. Je hurlais sur tout le monde, c’était horrible. Je n’ai même pas tenu une journée. »

    Commence alors pour Lauren une véritable descente aux enfers. « J’ai pris l’argent prévu pour mon crédit voiture, et je suis allée m’acheter mes pilules. Ça, c’était le premier mois. Ensuite, j’ai pris l’argent prévu pour la voiture, pour le crédit de la maison, la nourriture… pour mes pilules. Et au final, j’ai tout perdu : ma voiture, ma maison… J’étais pratiquement SDF. »

    Extrait de « Antidouleurs : l’Amérique dévastée », un reportage à voir dans « Envoyé spécial » le 21 février 2019.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Reportage

  • OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive”… — ProPublica
    https://www.propublica.org/article/oxycontin-purdue-pharma-massachusetts-lawsuit-anti-addiction-market

    Secret portions of a lawsuit allege that Purdue Pharma, controlled by the Sackler family, considered capitalizing on the addiction treatment boom — while going to extreme lengths to boost sales of its controversial opioid.

    In internal correspondence beginning in 2014, Purdue Pharma executives discussed how the sale of opioids and the treatment of opioid addiction are “naturally linked” and that the company should expand across “the pain and addiction spectrum,” according to redacted sections of the lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general. A member of the billionaire Sackler family, which founded and controls the privately held company, joined in those discussions and urged staff in an email to give “immediate attention” to this business opportunity, the complaint alleges.

    The sections of the complaint already made public contend that the Sacklers pushed for higher doses of OxyContin, guided efforts to mislead doctors and the public about the drug’s addictive capacity, and blamed misuse on patients.

    Citing extensive emails and internal company documents, the redacted sections allege that Purdue and the Sackler family went to extreme lengths to boost OxyContin sales and burnish the drug’s reputation in the face of increased regulation and growing public awareness of its addictive nature. Concerns about doctors improperly prescribing the drug, and patients becoming addicted, were swept aside in an aggressive effort to drive OxyContin sales ever higher, the complaint alleges.

    Among the allegations: Purdue paid two executives convicted of fraudulently marketing OxyContin millions of dollars to assure their loyalty, concealed information about doctors suspected of inappropriately prescribing the opioid, and was advised by global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. on strategies to boost the drug’s sales and burnish its image, including how to “counter the emotional messages” of mothers whose children overdosed. Since 2007, the Sackler family has received more than $4 billion in payouts from Purdue, according to a redacted paragraph in the complaint.

    The redacted paragraphs leave little doubt about the dominant role of the Sackler family in Purdue’s management. The five Purdue directors who are not Sacklers always voted with the family, according to the complaint. The family-controlled board approves everything from the number of sales staff to be hired to details of their bonus incentives, which have been tied to sales volume, the complaint says. In May 2017, when longtime employee Craig Landau was seeking to become Purdue’s chief executive, he wrote that the board acted as “de-facto CEO.” He was named CEO a few weeks later.

    After its 1996 launch, OxyContin rapidly became a top seller. But reports of patients abusing the drug soon followed. OxyContin contained more pain relief medication than older drugs, and crushing and snorting it was a simple way to get high fast. In 2007, Purdue pleaded guilty to federal charges of understating the risk of addiction and agreed to pay $600 million in fines and penalties. Still, the company argued publicly that OxyContin has “done far more good than harm,” and it sought to place responsibility for the bad acts on “certain of its supervisors and employees.”

    Privately, the complaint suggests, the Sacklers were concerned about alienating two executives, then-CEO Michael Friedman and then-legal counsel Howard Udell. Friedman and Udell each pleaded guilty in 2007 in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, to a misdemeanor charge of misbranding OxyContin, as did a former executive. The board signed off on the three executives’ decisions to plead guilty. No member of the Sackler family pleaded guilty.

    Purdue paid $5 million to Udell in November 2008, and up to $1 million in November 2009, the complaint states. In February 2008, the company paid $3 million to Friedman. The complaint doesn’t mention any payments to the former executive.

    “The Sacklers spent millions to keep the loyalty of people who knew the truth,” the complaint alleges.

    Udell died in 2013. A person answering a phone number listed to Friedman declined comment.

    When sales results disappointed, Sackler family members didn’t hesitate to intervene. In late 2010, Purdue told the family that sales of the highest dose and most profitable opioids were lower than expected, according to the complaint. That meant an expected quarter-end payout to the family of $320 million was at risk of being reduced to $260 million and would have to be made in two installments in December instead of one in November.

    That news prompted a sharp email question from Mortimer D.A. Sackler, whose late father, also named Mortimer, was a Purdue co-founder. “Why are you BOTH reducing the amount of the distribution and delaying it and splitting it in two?” he asked. “Just a few weeks ago you agreed to distribute the full 320 [million dollars] in November.” The complaint doesn’t say how much was ultimately paid.

    In September 2014, Purdue embarked on a secret project to join an industry that was booming thanks in part to OxyContin abuse: addiction treatment medication. Code-named Project Tango, it involved Purdue executives and staff as well as Dr. Kathe Sackler, a daughter of the company co-founder Mortimer Sackler and a defendant in the Massachusetts lawsuit. She participated in phone calls and told staff that the project required their “immediate attention,” according to the complaint.

    Internally, Purdue touted the growth of an industry that its aggressive marketing had done so much to foster.

    “It is an attractive market,” the team working on the project wrote in a presentation. “Large unmet need for vulnerable, underserved and stigmatized patient population suffering from substance abuse, dependence and addiction.”

    While OxyContin sales were declining, the internal team at Purdue touted the fact that the addiction treatment marketplace was expanding.

    “Opioid addiction (other than heroin) has grown by ~20%” annually from 2000 to 2010, the company noted. Although Richard Sackler had blamed OxyContin abuse in an email on “reckless criminals,” the Purdue staff exploring the new business opportunity described in far more sympathetic terms the patients whom it now planned to treat.

    “This can happen to any-one – from a 50 year old woman with chronic lower back pain to a 18 year old boy with a sports injury, from the very wealthy to the very poor,” it said.

    Company documents recommended becoming an “end-to-end pain provider.” Initially, Purdue intended to sell one such medication, Suboxone, which is commonly retailed as a film that melts in the mouth. When Kathe Sackler asked staff members to look into reports that children might be swallowing the film, they reassured her. They responded, according to the complaint, that youngsters were overdosing on pills, but not the films, “which is a positive for Tango.”

    In 2015, Purdue turned its attention to another potential product, the overdose reversing agent known as Narcan, calling it a “strategic fit.” Purdue executives discussed how its sales force could promote Narcan to the same doctors who prescribed the most opioids. Purdue said in the statement Wednesday that it decided against acquiring the rights to sell Suboxone and Narcan.

    While those initiatives appear to have stalled or ended, Richard Sackler received a patent last year for a drug to treat addiction, according to the complaint. The patent application states that opioids are addictive and refers to people who suffer from substance use disorders as “junkies.”

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • Judge to rule next week on disclosing claims about Purdue Pharma - STAT
    https://www.statnews.com/2019/01/25/judge-to-rule-on-disclosing-allegations-against-purdue

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts judge said Friday she would rule by early next week on a request from media organizations, including STAT and the Boston Globe, to make public redacted portions of a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and other opioid painkillers.

    The Connecticut company’s aggressive and misleading marketing of OxyContin has been blamed by addiction experts for helping spawn the opioid addiction crisis. Outside the Boston courthouse Friday, families of people who became addicted to opioids after taking Purdue’s medications rallied, with some calling for criminal charges against the company.

    “Every day that goes by where this document is substantially under seal is a day that the public does not have access to newsworthy and important information,” Jeffrey Pyle, a lawyer representing the media organizations, argued before Judge Janet Sanders in Suffolk County Superior Court.

    Attorney General Maura Healey accused Purdue of misleading doctors and patients about the addiction and overdose risks of its medications in a lawsuit originally filed in June, which also named current and former Purdue executives and members of the Sackler family, which controls the privately held Purdue, as defendants.

    An updated, 300-plus-page complaint from Healey’s office filed last week contained newly public portions that showed Purdue executives and the Sacklers demanding greater sales of their medications despite the risks and pressuring salespeople to push physicians to prescribe higher doses of their drugs for longer periods of time to more patients.

    #Opioides #Procès

  • Opioid Lawsuits Are Headed to Trial. Here’s Why the Stakes Are Getting Uglier. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/health/opioid-lawsuits-settlement-trial.html

    Uncontested: The devastation from prescription opioids has been deadly and inordinately expensive.

    Contested: Who should foot the bill?

    Just over a year ago, opioid lawsuits against makers and distributors of the painkillers were proliferating so rapidly that a judicial panel bundled all the federal cases under the stewardship of a single judge. On a January morning, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio made his opening remarks to lawyers for nearly 200 municipal governments gathered in his Cleveland courtroom. He wanted the national opioid crisis resolved with a meaningful settlement within a year, proclaiming, “We don’t need briefs and we don’t need trials.”

    That year is up.

    Far from being settled, the litigation has ballooned to 1,548 federal court cases, brought on behalf of cities and counties, 77 tribes, hospitals, union benefit funds, infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome and others — in total, millions of people. With a potential payday amounting to tens of billions of dollars, it has become one of the most complicated and gargantuan legal battles in American history.

    With settlement talks sputtering, the judge has signed off on a parallel track involving, yes, briefs, focused on, yes, trial. He will preside over three consolidated Ohio lawsuits in what is known as a “bellwether,” or test case. The array of defendants include Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt PLC, CVS RX Services Inc. and Cardinal Health, Inc. That jury’s verdict could determine whether the parties will then negotiate in earnest or keep fighting.

    The plaintiffs have long said that the companies deliberately looked the other way at the improbable quantities. But the lawyers did not have the hard numbers in hand to bolster their claims.

    Now they do.

    For the time being, the judge will not release the data to the public. But a passage from a congressional report gives a sense of the granular information in the data: during 10 months in 2007, one distributor, McKesson, shipped three million prescription opioids to a single pharmacy in a West Virginia town with 400 residents.

    Typically, patients who sue for medical malpractice or product liability must turn over their own medical records as proof. They forfeit conventional privacy rights.

    Here, the overwhelming majority of plaintiffs are government entities, not individuals. They are seeking to be reimbursed for the accumulated costs of drug addiction and its collateral damage. The defendants want them to produce precise evidence showing how those costs are calculated, including the chain of events — for example, from a drug’s development, to its delivery, to a pharmacy-filled prescription to, eventually, bills from hospitals and others.
    What on Earth Is Going On?

    That means the drug industry is asking for patients’ records and for every prescription the plaintiffs deemed medically “suspicious.” The plaintiffs are pushing back, saying that the depleted municipal budgets for health, social services and law enforcement paint a more telling picture.

    Why drug companies could have an upper hand

    Lawyers on both sides agree: This litigation presents a slew of novel legal issues.

    If the bellwether ends in a victory for plaintiffs, appeals courts, increasingly filled with conservative judges, would be unlikely to uphold all of Judge Polster’s rulings on these untested legal questions, much less a whopping, emotional jury award. Complexity favors the defense.

    And in settlement negotiations, the long game is the defense’s best friend: they can afford to drag this out. Typically, the longer it slogs on, the more the final tab gets driven down.

    #Opioides #Procès

  • The Arthur Sackler Family’s Ties to OxyContin Money - The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/04/sacklers-oxycontin-opioids/557525

    Much as the role of the addictive multibillion-dollar painkiller OxyContin in the opioid crisis has stirred controversy and rancor nationwide, so it has divided members of the wealthy and philanthropic Sackler family, some of whom own the company that makes the drug.

    In recent months, as protesters have begun pressuring the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other cultural institutions to spurn donations from the Sacklers, one branch of the family has moved aggressively to distance itself from OxyContin and its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. The widow and one daughter of Arthur Sackler, who owned a related Purdue company with his two brothers, maintain that none of his heirs have profited from sales of the drug. The daughter, Elizabeth Sackler, told The New York Times in January that Purdue Pharma’s involvement in the opioid epidemic was “morally abhorrent to me.”

    But an obscure court document sheds a different light on family history—and on the campaign by Arthur’s relatives to preserve their image and legacy. It shows that the Purdue family of companies made a nearly $20 million payment to the estate of Arthur Sackler in 1997—two year after OxyContin was approved, and just as the pill was becoming a big seller. As a result, though they do not profit from present-day sales, Arthur’s heirs appear to have benefited at least indirectly from OxyContin.

    The 1997 payment to the estate of Arthur Sackler is disclosed in the combined, audited financial statements of Purdue and its associated companies and subsidiaries. Those documents were filed among hundreds of pages of exhibits in the U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, as part of a 2007 settlement in which a company associated with Purdue and three company executives pleaded guilty to charges that OxyContin was illegally marketed. The company paid $600 million in penalties while admitting it falsely promoted OxyContin as less addictive and less likely to be abused than other pain medications.

    Arthur’s heirs include his widow and grandchildren. His children, including Elizabeth, do not inherit because they are not beneficiaries of a trust that was set up as part of a settlement of his estate, according to court records. Jillian receives an income from the trust. Elizabeth’s two children are heirs and would receive bequests upon Jillian’s death. A spokesman for Elizabeth Sackler declined to comment on the Purdue payment.

    Long before OxyContin was introduced, the Sackler brothers already were notable philanthropists. Arthur was one of the world’s biggest art collectors and a generous benefactor to cultural and educational institutions across the world. There is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard, and the Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

    His brothers were similarly generous. They joined with their older brother to fund the Sackler Wing at the Met, which features the Temple of Dendur exhibit. The Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation was the principal donor of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London; the Sackler name is affiliated with prestigious colleges from Yale to the University of Oxford, as well as world-famous cultural organizations, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. There is even a Sackler Rose—so christened after Mortimer Sackler’s wife purchased the naming rights in her husband’s honor.

    Now the goodwill gained from this philanthropy may be waning as the Sackler family has found itself in an uncomfortable spotlight over the past six months. Two national magazines recently examined the intersection of the family’s wealth from OxyContin and its philanthropy, as have other media outlets across the world. The family has also been targeted in a campaign by the photographer Nan Goldin to “hold the Sacklers accountable” for OxyContin’s role in the opioid crisis. Goldin, who says she became addicted to OxyContin after it was prescribed for surgical pain, led a protest last month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in which demonstrators tossed pill bottles labeled as OxyContin into the reflecting pool of its Sackler Wing.

    While it doesn’t appear that any recipients of Sackler charitable contributions have returned gifts or pledged to reject future ones, pressure and scrutiny on many of those institutions is intensifying. In London, the National Portrait Gallery said it is reviewing a current pledge from the Sackler Trust.

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/health/purdue-opioids-oxycontin.html

    Prosecutors found that the company’s sales representatives used the words “street value,” “crush,” or “snort” in 117 internal notes recording their visits to doctors or other medical professionals from 1997 through 1999.

    The 120-page report also cited emails showing that Purdue Pharma’s owners, members of the wealthy Sackler family, were sent reports about abuse of OxyContin and another company opioid, MS Contin.
    Image
    “We have in fact picked up references to abuse of our opioid products on the internet,” Purdue Pharma’s general counsel, Howard R. Udell, wrote in early 1999 to another company official. That same year, prosecutors said, company officials learned of a call to a pharmacy describing “OxyContin as the hottest thing on the street — forget Vicodin.”

    A spokesman for Purdue Pharma, Robert Josephson, declined to comment on the allegations in the report but said the company was involved in efforts to address opioid abuse.

    Suggesting that activities that last occurred more than 16 years ago are responsible for today’s complex and multifaceted opioid crisis is deeply flawed ,” he said in a statement.

    La famille sacquer savait, dès le début...

    In May 1996, five months after OxyContin’s approval, Richard Sackler and Mr. Udell were sent an older medical journal article describing how drug abusers were extracting morphine from MS Contin tablets in order to inject the drug , prosecutors reported. A Purdue Pharma scientist researched the issue and sent his findings to several Sacklers, the government report states.
    “I found MS Contin mentioned a couple of times on the internet underground drug culture scene,” the researcher wrote in that 1996 email. “Most of it was mentioned in the context of MS Contin as a morphine source.”

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • Enquête. OxyContin, un antidouleur addictif à la conquête du monde | Courrier international
    https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/enquete-oxycontin-un-antidouleur-addictif-la-conquete-du-mond

    Alors que l’usage d’opioïdes antalgiques fait des ravages aux États-Unis, les fabricants de ces médicaments vantent leurs mérites dans le monde entier pour élargir leurs marchés. En minorant les risques de dépendance et les conséquences pour la santé des patients, à l’image de Purdue, producteur de l’OxyContin, sur lequel a enquêté le Los Angeles Times.

    Face à l’épidémie d’addiction aux opioïdes analgésiques qui a déjà causé 200 000 morts dans le pays, l’establishment médical américain commence à prendre ses distances avec les antalgiques. Les plus hauts responsables de la santé incitent les généralistes à ne plus les prescrire en cas de douleur chronique, expliquant que rien ne prouve leur efficacité sur le long terme et que de nombreux indices montrent qu’ils mettent en danger les patients. 

    Les prescriptions d’OxyContin ont baissé d’environ 40 % depuis 2010, ce qui se traduit par plusieurs milliards de manque à gagner pour son fabricant, basé dans le Connecticut, Purdue Pharma. 

    La famille Sackler, propriétaire du laboratoire, a donc décidé d’adopter une nouvelle stratégie : faire adopter l’oxycodone, l’analgésique qui a déclenché la crise des opioïdes aux États-Unis, dans les cabinets médicaux du reste du monde.

    Pour mener à bien cette expansion mondiale, ces entreprises, regroupées sous le nom collectif de Mundipharma, utilisent quelques-unes des méthodes controversées de marketing qui ont fait de l’OxyContin un best-seller pharmaceutique aux États-Unis. Au Brésil, en Chine et ailleurs, les sociétés mettent en place des séminaires de formation dans lesquels on encourage les médecins à surmonter leur “opiophobie” et à prescrire des antalgiques. Elles sponsorisent des campagnes de sensibilisation qui poussent les gens à solliciter un traitement médical de leurs douleurs chroniques. Elles vont même jusqu’à proposer des ristournes aux patients afin de rendre plus abordables les opioïdes sur ordonnance.

    L’ancien commissaire de l’agence des produits alimentaires et des médicaments [Food and Drug Administration] David A. Kessler a estimé que l’aveuglement face aux dangers des antalgiques constitue l’une des plus grosses erreurs de la médecine moderne. Évoquant l’entrée de Mundipharma sur les marchés étrangers, il a déclaré que la démarche était “exactement la même que celle des grands fabricants de cigarettes. Alors que les États-Unis prennent des mesures pour limiter les ventes sur leur territoire, l’entreprise se développe à l’international.”

    #Opioides #Mundipharma

  • Court Documents Show How OxyContin’s Sales Team Pushed “Hope in a Bottle” – Mother Jones
    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/07/court-documents-show-how-oxycontins-sales-team-pushed-hope-in-a-bottle

    In 2007, a sales representative for Purdue Pharma visited a family doctor in Kingston, Tennessee, to urge the physician to prescribe more OxyContin. The doctor was interested in pain management, but didn’t prescribe the opioid painkiller because he’d heard that it was often resold on the street. “Asked him why it mattered if thought was going to end on street?” read notes that the rep wrote after the visit. “Point well received.”

    That’s according to a 278-page lawsuit filed in May by the state of Tennessee against Purdue Pharma and made public earlier this month after the company dropped its effort to keep the suit sealed. The opioid maker is facing dozens of lawsuits alleging that it helped plant the seeds of today’s spiraling overdose epidemic, but this appears to be the only complaint that relies heavily on notes that company sales representatives jotted down after each visit with a prescriber or clinic. (It’s not alone in the lawsuits: opioid manufacturers and distributors across the country are facing litigation, including this recent whistleblower case against prescription fentanyl maker Insys.)

    Purdue reps focused their efforts on general practitioners, internal medicine physicians, and other prescribers without pain management expertise, the suit alleges. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners, who Purdue found to be the fastest-growing group of opioid prescribers, were deemed to be “critical to our success; contributing to both volume and growth,” according to a 2015-2016 brand strategy training. “NPs and PAs desperately seek information, typically from sales representatives,” read a 2013 marketing plan.

    #Opioides #Purdue_Pharma #Tennessee