• Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family’s Plan to Keep Its Billions | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-sackler-familys-plan-to-keep-its-billions

    Many pharmaceutical companies had a hand in creating the opioid crisis, an ongoing public-health emergency in which as many as half a million Americans have lost their lives. But Purdue, which is owned by the Sackler family, played a special role because it was the first to set out, in the nineteen-nineties, to persuade the American medical establishment that strong opioids should be much more widely prescribed—and that physicians’ longstanding fears about the addictive nature of such drugs were overblown. With the launch of OxyContin, in 1995, Purdue unleashed an unprecedented marketing blitz, pushing the use of powerful opioids for a huge range of ailments and asserting that its product led to addiction in “fewer than one percent” of patients. This strategy was a spectacular commercial success: according to Purdue, OxyContin has since generated approximately thirty billion dollars in revenue, making the Sacklers (whom I wrote about for the magazine, in 2017, and about whom I will publish a book next year) one of America’s richest families.

    But OxyContin’s success also sparked a deadly crisis of addiction. Other pharmaceutical companies followed Purdue’s lead, introducing competing products; eventually, millions of Americans were struggling with opioid-use disorders. Many people who were addicted but couldn’t afford or access prescription drugs transitioned to heroin and black-market fentanyl. According to a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal, the disruptions associated with the coronavirus have only intensified the opioid epidemic, and overdose deaths are accelerating. For all the complexity of this public-health crisis, there is now widespread agreement that its origins are relatively straightforward. New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, has described OxyContin as the “taproot” of the epidemic. A recent study, by a team of economists from the Wharton School, Notre Dame, and RAND, reviewed overdose statistics in five states where Purdue opted, because of local regulations, to concentrate fewer resources in promoting its drug. The scholars found that, in those states, overdose rates—even from heroin and fentanyl—are markedly lower than in states where Purdue did the full marketing push. The study concludes that “the introduction and marketing of OxyContin explain a substantial share of overdose deaths over the last two decades.”

    Arlen Specter, then a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, was unhappy with the deal. When the government fines a corporation instead of sending its executives to jail, he declared, it is essentially granting “expensive licenses for criminal misconduct.” After the settlement, Purdue kept marketing OxyContin aggressively and playing down its risks. (The company denies doing so.) Sales of the drug grew, eventually reaching more than two billion dollars annually. The fact that, thirteen years after the 2007 settlement, Purdue is alleged to have orchestrated another criminally overzealous campaign to push its opioids suggests that Specter was right: when the profits generated by crossing the line are enormous, fines aren’t much of a deterrent.

    Ne jamais oublier la corruption

    The Sacklers have long maintained that they and their company are blameless when it comes to the opioid crisis because OxyContin was fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But some of the more shocking passages in the prosecution memo involve previously unreported details about the F.D.A. official in charge of issuing that approval, Dr. Curtis Wright. Prosecutors discovered significant impropriety in the way that Wright shepherded the OxyContin application through the F.D.A., describing his relationship with the company as conspicuously “informal in nature.” Not long after Wright approved the drug for sale, he stepped down from his position. A year later, he took a job at Purdue. According to the prosecution memo, his first-year compensation package was at least three hundred and seventy-nine thousand dollars—roughly three times his previous salary. (Wright declined to comment.)

    But, at the time, Purdue was being sued by forty-five other states, and David Sackler offered to resolve all the cases against the company and the family in a single grand gesture. A wave of headlines reported the news: “PURDUE PHARMA OFFERS $10-12 BILLION TO SETTLE OPIOID CLAIMS.”

    This seemed like a significant figure, but the headlines were misleading. According to a term sheet in which attorneys for the Sacklers and Purdue laid out the particulars of this proposed “comprehensive settlement,” the Sacklers were prepared to make a guaranteed contribution of only three billion dollars. Further funds could be secured, the family suggested, by selling its international businesses and by converting Purdue Pharma into a “public benefit corporation” that would continue to yield revenue—by selling OxyContin and other opioids—but would no longer profit the Sacklers personally. This was a discomfiting, and somewhat brazen, suggestion: the Sacklers were proposing to remediate the damage of the opioid crisis with funds generated by continuing to sell the drug that had initiated the crisis. At the same time, the term sheet suggested, Purdue would supply new drugs to treat opioid addiction and counteract overdoses—though the practicalities of realizing this initiative, and the Sacklers’ estimate that it would represent four billion dollars in value, remained distinctly speculative.

    When the attorneys general refused to consent to the deal, the Sacklers followed through on their threat, and Purdue declared bankruptcy. But, significantly, the Sacklers did not declare bankruptcy themselves. According to the case filed by James, the family had known as early as 2014 that the company could one day face the prospect of damaging judgments. To protect themselves on this day of reckoning, the lawsuit maintains, the Sacklers assiduously siphoned money out of Purdue and transferred it offshore, beyond the reach of U.S. authorities. A representative for Purdue told me that the drugmaker, when it declared bankruptcy, had cash and assets of roughly a billion dollars. In a deposition, one of the company’s own experts testified that the Sacklers had removed as much as thirteen billion dollars from Purdue. When the company announced that it was filing for Chapter 11, Stein derided the move as a sham. The Sacklers had “extracted nearly all the money out of Purdue and pushed the carcass of the company into bankruptcy,” he said. “Multi-billionaires are the opposite of bankrupt.”

    You might think that this would leave open the possibility of future suits brought by states, but Drain has signalled a desire to foreclose those as well, maintaining that a blanket dispensation is a necessary component of the bankruptcy resolution. In February, he remarked that the “only way to get true peace, if the parties are prepared to support it and not fight it in a meaningful way, is to have a third-party release” that grants the Sacklers freedom from any future liability. This is a controversial issue, and Drain indicated that he was raising it early because in some parts of the country it’s illegal for a federal bankruptcy judge to grant a third-party release barring state authorities from bringing their own lawsuits. The case law is evolving, Drain said.

    The Trump Administration has paid lip service to the importance of addressing the opioid crisis. Bill Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, has said that his “highest priority is dealing with the plague of drugs.” In practice, however, this has meant rhetoric about heroin coming from Mexico and fentanyl coming from China, rather than a sustained effort to hold the well-heeled malefactors of the American pharmaceutical industry to account. Richard Sackler once boasted, “We can get virtually every senator and congressman we want to talk to on the phone in the next seventy-two hours.” Although the Sacklers may now be social pariahs, the family’s money—and army of white-shoe fixers—means that they still exert political influence.

    According to three attorneys familiar with the dynamics inside the Justice Department, career line prosecutors have pushed to sanction Purdue in a serious way, and have been alarmed by efforts by the department’s political leadership to soften the blow. Should that happen, it will mark a grim instance of Purdue’s history repeating itself: a robust federal investigation of the company being defanged, behind closed doors, by a coalition of Purdue lawyers and political appointees. And it seems likely, as was also the case in 2007, that this failure will be dressed up as a success: a guilty plea from the company, another fine.

    In a statement to The New Yorker, a representative for the families of Raymond and Mortimer Sackler denied all wrongdoing, maintaining that family members on Purdue’s board “were consistently assured by management that all marketing of OxyContin was done in compliance with law.” The statement continued, “Our hearts go out to those affected by drug abuse and addiction,” adding that “the rise in opioid-related deaths is driven overwhelmingly by heroin and illicit fentanyl smuggled by drug traffickers into the U.S. from China and Mexico.” At “the conclusion of this process,” the statement suggested, “all of Purdue’s documents” will be publicly disclosed, “making clear that the Sackler family acted ethically and responsibly at all times.”

    The states have asserted in legal filings that the total cost of the opioid crisis exceeds two trillion dollars. Relative to that number, the three billion dollars that the Sacklers are guaranteeing in their offer is miniscule. It is also a small number relative to the fortune that the Sacklers appear likely to retain, which could be three or four times that amount. As the March filing by the states opposed to the deal argued, “When your illegal marketing campaign causes a national crisis, you should not get to keep most of the money.” What the Sacklers are offering simply “does not match what they owe.”

    Nevertheless, in absolute terms, three billion dollars is still a significant sum—and the Sacklers have made it clear that they are prepared to pay it only in the event that they are granted a release from future liability. It may be that the magnitude of the dollars at stake will persuade Drain, the Justice Department officials on the case, and even the state attorneys general who initially rejected the Sacklers’ proposal to sign off. The problem, one attorney familiar with the case said, is that “criminal liability is not something that should be sold,” adding, “It should not depend on how rich they are. It’s not right.”

    #Opioides #Sackler #Patrick_Radden_Keefe

  • Patrick Radden Keefe, Addiction sur ordonnance. La crise des antidouleurs - Recension
    https://journals.openedition.org/questionsdecommunication/21839

    L’article principal du journaliste d’investigation, Patrick Radden Keefe, montre comment la famille Sackler, créatrice et propriétaire de l’entreprise Purdue Pharma, s’est constituée et a mis sur le marché en 1995 son antidouleur phare, l’OxyContin, en affirmant qu’il n’était pas addictif. Prescrit largement par les médecins non alertés sur ses risques potentiels, des décennies plus tard, la situation sanitaire aux États-Unis est jugée dramatique : « 70 500 décès par overdose en 2017, des milliers de familles en détresse, les services sociaux et de secours débordés » (quatrième de couverture). Ce tableau d’une hécatombe de morts violentes et d’une large dépendance d’une partie de la population américaine n’est bien sûr pas imputable à cet unique produit et cette seule entreprise ; ils ne constituent qu’une facette du phénomène dans la mesure où d’autres molécules sont vendues et consommées sur le marché des antidouleurs, là-bas comme ailleurs dans le monde. Toutefois, l’auteur établit précisément que ce marché des antidouleurs a pu s’étendre et s’installer, d’une manière pionnière, grâce aux compétences complémentaires des frères Sackler à l’origine de l’entreprise. La promotion et la communication (considérée mensongère ici) ont été dès l’entame les fers de lance de leurs activités, au-delà de l’activité classique de pharmacie. Depuis lors, l’entreprise Purdue Pharma, comme les autres sur ce marché pharmaceutique très lucratif, s’est construite au fil des décennies une image de marque forte et surtout une image sociale et scientifique honorable « en finançant des universités et des musées, comme le Louvre à Paris » (quatrième de couverture de l’ouvrage). Au moment de la publication de l’article, Yale par exemple disposait d’un institut de biologie et de sciences physiques portant le nom de deux membres de la famille créatrice de cette entreprise…

    #Patrick_Radden_Keefe #Sackler #Addiction_ordonnance #C&F_éditions

  • Who Profits from the Opioid Crisis? Meet the Secretive Sackler Family Making Billions from OxyContin - YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGITecuBEHQ

    https://democracynow.org - This week, President Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar, Republican Congressmember Tom Marino, had to withdraw from consideration after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes” investigation found he led a drug industry-backed effort to pass a law that weakened the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on addictive opioids. Meanwhile, calls are growing to look at the major pharmaceutical companies that have fueled the opioid crisis. A new investigation by Esquire magazine reveals how the secretive Sackler family, owners of the company that invented OxyContin, downplayed the risks of addiction and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength. We speak with Christopher Glazek, the Esquire reporter behind the story.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Conflit_opinion

  • Sackler Family Members Fight Removal of Name at Tufts, Calling It a ‘Breach’ - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/us/sackler-opioids-tufts.html

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Two weeks after Tufts University became the first major university to remove the Sackler name from buildings and programs over the family’s role in the opioid epidemic, members of the family are pushing back. A lawyer for some of the Sacklers argued in a letter to the president of Tufts that the move was unjustified and a violation of agreements made when the school wanted the family’s financial help years ago.

    The letter described Tufts’s decision to remove the name as “contrary to basic notions of fairness" and “a breach of the many binding commitments made by the University dating back to 1980 in order to secure the family’s support, including millions of dollars in donations for facilities and critical medical research.”

    Institutions that have accepted financial support from the Sacklers have in recent months faced growing cries to distance themselves from the family.

    The forceful response by Sackler family members now may be seen as a signal to other institutions amid a flurry of announcements by major cultural organizations that they would no longer take donations from the family. The response also raised complicated legal questions about what room institutions have to unilaterally remove a donor’s name long after a gift has been accepted.

    Several institutions that have received major support from the Sacklers, including Yale University, Tate, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, said this year that they would no longer accept gifts from some or all Sackler family members.

    But decisions by major institutions to remove the Sackler name from existing facilities have been rare. This year, the Louvre in Paris removed the name from a wing that had been known since 1997 as the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities. In that case, however, the Louvre said that its naming agreements lasted only 20 years.

    #Sackler #Opioides #Jean-Foutres

  • The company that makes OxyContin could become a ’public trust’ – what would that mean?
    http://theconversation.com/the-company-that-makes-oxycontin-could-become-a-public-trust-what-w

    Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin and other potentially addictive prescription opioids, has declared bankruptcy. It’s also facing thousands of lawsuits for its leading role in creating the opioid crisis.

    The company is trying to reach a broad settlement with the many jurisdictions now suing. The settlement it’s proposing would transform the company from a profit-seeking privately held company into a “public beneficiary trust” that serves the public good.

    I study the history of prescription drugs. Although there are some recent efforts to establish nonprofit drugmakers to help make certain pharmaceuticals more readily available, I know of no historical precedent for a big drugmaker like Purdue becoming a nonprofit public health provider.

    But two similarly ambitious efforts to build alternatives to the profit-driven pharmaceutical model during and immediately after World War II suggest the potential limits of how well this arrangement might work.

    By all accounts, the new trust would be a for-profit entity. Indeed, profits from continued sales of pain medicines like OxyContin and addiction treatment medications like buprenorphine and naloxone – estimated by Purdue to be up to US$8 billion per year – are crucial as the “payment” Purdue is offering to compensate the public for the company’s share of the costs of the opioid crisis.

    In other words, to achieve its mission, the new Purdue would have to pursue profits just like the old Purdue. And since all pharmaceutical companies officially declare themselves to be dedicated to serving the public good, how different would it really be?

    Then, too, the new trust would still be Purdue Pharma, a company with a well-entrenched culture of maximizing sales and profits even as the opioid crisis grew. One could make a credible case that Purdue’s innovations – the “value” it brought to the table – were not related to any special therapeutic breakthrough in the drugs it developed but instead lay in its genius with marketing these products.

    I can see why it is tempting to be excited about the prospect of a new public-benefit trust devoted to addressing addiction.

    But for this proposed arrangement to make sense, Purdue would need the tools and expertise required to pursue a radically different mission than it was designed to serve. And history does not offer much assurance that isolated public-sector and nonprofit drugmakers can make a big difference in a pharmaceutical system designed for and powered by profit.

    #Purdue_pharma #Sackler #Opioides

  • Watch Richard Sackler Deny His Family’s Role in the Opioid Crisis — ProPublica
    https://www.propublica.org/article/watch-richard-sackler-deny-his-familys-role-in-the-opioid-crisis

    Des vidéos (répugnantes) de Richard Sackler répondant au procureur du Kentucky. Les yeux clairs des assassins tant décrit par les romans et les chansons.

    Four years ago this week, Dr. Richard Sackler sat in a conference room at a law office in a Louisville, Kentucky, office park. Lawyers for the Kentucky attorney general’s office were taking his deposition as part of the state’s lawsuit alleging that the family business, Purdue Pharma, illegally marketed the opioid painkiller OxyContin by understating its addictive properties.

    Sackler, who has been at various times Purdue’s president and co-chairman of its board, testified for more than eight hours. The lawyers asked him about his role at the company, what decisions he was involved in and whether he believes Purdue played any part in the opioid crisis that has resulted in more than 200,000 overdose deaths related to prescription drugs since 1999.

    Despite hundreds of lawsuits against Purdue stretching back well over a decade, that August 2015 deposition, which was recorded on video, is believed to be the first time any member of the Sackler family was questioned under oath about their role in the marketing of OxyContin.

    #Opioides #Richard_Sackler #Sackler #Vidéos

  • Inside Purdue Pharma’s Media Playbook : How It Planted the Opioid “Anti-Story” — ProPublica
    https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-purdue-pharma-media-playbook-how-it-planted-the-opioid-anti-story

    In 2004, Purdue Pharma was facing a threat to sales of its blockbuster opioid painkiller OxyContin, which were approaching $2 billion a year. With abuse of the drug on the rise, prosecutors were bringing criminal charges against some doctors for prescribing massive amounts of OxyContin.

    That October, an essay ran across the top of The New York Times’ health section under the headline “Doctors Behind Bars: Treating Pain is Now Risky Business.” Its author, Sally Satel, a psychiatrist, argued that law enforcement was overzealous, and that some patients needed large doses of opioids to relieve pain. She described an unnamed colleague who had run a pain service at a university medical center and had a patient who could only get out of bed by taking “staggering” levels of oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin. She also cited a study published in a medical journal showing that OxyContin is rarely the only drug found in autopsies of oxycodone-related deaths.

    “When you scratch the surface of someone who is addicted to painkillers, you usually find a seasoned drug abuser with a previous habit involving pills, alcohol, heroin or cocaine,” Satel wrote. “Contrary to media portrayals, the typical OxyContin addict does not start out as a pain patient who fell unwittingly into a drug habit.”

    The Times identified Satel as “a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an unpaid advisory board member for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.” But readers weren’t told about her involvement, and the American Enterprise Institute’s, with Purdue.

    Among the connections revealed by emails and documents obtained by ProPublica: Purdue donated $50,000 annually to the institute, which is commonly known as AEI, from 2003 through this year, plus contributions for special events, for a total of more than $800,000. The unnamed doctor in Satel’s article was an employee of Purdue, according to an unpublished draft of the story. The study Satel cited was funded by Purdue and written by Purdue employees and consultants. And, a month before the piece was published, Satel sent a draft to Burt Rosen, Purdue’s Washington lobbyist and vice president of federal policy and legislative affairs, asking him if it “seems imbalanced.”

    Purdue’s tactics are reminiscent of the oil and gas industry, which has been accused of promoting misleading science that downplays its impact on climate change, and of big tobacco, which sought to undermine evidence that nicotine is addictive and secondhand smoke is dangerous.

    Media spinning was just one prong of Purdue’s strategy to fend off limits on opioid prescribing. It contested hundreds of lawsuits, winning dismissals or settling the cases with a provision that documents remain secret. The company paid leading doctors in the pain field to assure patients that OxyContin was safe. It also funded groups, like the American Pain Foundation, that described themselves as advocates for pain patients. Several of those groups minimized the risk of addiction and fought against efforts to curb opioid use for chronic pain patients.

    She has become an influential voice on opioids, addiction and pain treatment. Her writings have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Atlantic, Slate, Health Affairs, Forbes, Politico and elsewhere. She frequently appears on panels, television shows and in newspaper articles as an expert on the opioid crisis and pain prescribing guidelines. “We’ve entered a new era of opiophobia,” she recently told The Washington Post.

    Satel has been a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute since 2000. Among the notable figures who have spent time at AEI are the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former Trump national security adviser John Bolton. Current fellow Scott Gottlieb returned to AEI this year after serving as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approves and regulates prescription drugs like OxyContin.

    Purdue said its annual payments of $50,000 to AEI were part of the institute’s corporate program. That program offers corporations the opportunity to “gain access to the leading scholars in the most important policy areas for executive briefings and knowledge sharing,” according to the institute’s website.

    Purdue’s counterattack against an ambitious investigative series about OxyContin abuse may have contributed to that drop. An October 2003 series in the Orlando Sentinel, “OxyContin Under Fire,” found that Purdue’s aggressive marketing combined with weak regulation had contributed to “a wave of death and destruction.”

    The series, however, was marred by several errors that were detailed in a front-page correction nearly four months later. The reporter resigned, and two editors on the series were reassigned. While acknowledging the mistakes, the newspaper did not retract the series, and its review upheld the conclusion that oxycodone was involved in a large number of the overdoses in Florida.

    Dezenhall Resources, in an email, took credit for forcing the newspaper to issue the corrections. “Dezenhall’s efforts resulted in a complete front-page retraction of the erroneous 5-day, 19-part, front-page Orlando Sentinel series,” Hershow wrote in a 2006 email summarizing Dezenhall’s work for Purdue under the subject line “Success in Fighting Negative Coverage.”

    Purdue officials and the company’s public relations agencies came up with a 13-point plan to generate media coverage of the errors. It included getting a doctor to talk about how the series “frightened and mislead (sic) the people of Florida” and having a pain patient write a newspaper opinion column on the subject. The Sentinel series, one Purdue official wrote to other company executives and Dezenhall’s Hershow, was an opportunity to let the country know about “all of the sensational reporting on OxyContin abuse over the past 4 years. The conclusion: this is the most overblown health story in the last decade!”

    In the six years after Purdue challenged the Sentinel’s findings, the death rate from prescription drugs increased 84.2% in Florida. The biggest rise, 264.6%, came from deaths involving oxycodone. The state became a hotbed for inappropriate opioid prescribing as unscrupulous pain clinics attracted out of state drug seekers. The route traveled by many from small towns in Appalachia to the Florida clinics was nicknamed the “Oxycontin Express.”

    In 2017, 14 years after the Sentinel series was published, the Columbia Journalism Review described it as “right too soon” and said it “eerily prefigured today’s opioid epidemic.”

    Purdue also added Stu Loeser to its stable. The head of an eponymous media strategy company, Loeser was press secretary for Michael Bloomberg when he was mayor of New York City, and he is now a spokesman for Bloomberg’s possible presidential bid.

    Soon after Loeser began representing Purdue, Satel wrote in a 2018 piece for Politico headlined, “The Myth of What’s Driving the Opioid Crisis,” about “a false narrative” that the opioid epidemic “is driven by patients becoming addicted to doctor-prescribed opioids.”

    Loeser told Purdue executives in an email that “we are going to work with AEI to ‘promote’ this so it comes across as what it is: their thoughtful response to other writing.” His team was working to target the Satel story “to land in social media feeds of people who have searched for opioid issues and potentially even people who have read specific stories online,” he added.

    Loeser said in an interview that he didn’t end up working with AEI to promote the story. He said Purdue is no longer a client.

    Une belle bande d’ordures accoquinée avec une brochette de journaux peu regardants (quoique parmi les meilleurs du monde, ce qui est encore plus inquiétant).

    #Opioides #Sackler #Purdue_Pharma #Médias #Fake_news #Conflits_intérêt #Complicités #New_York_Times #Public_relation

  • AP key findings about Mundipharma’s OxyContin sales in China
    https://apnews.com/a9b1324e5b7d4679b5a6d465cea2dd2e

    This Sept. 24, 2019 photo shows 40-milligram Oxycontin tablets sold in China in Hunan province. China fought two wars in the 19th century to beat back British ships dumping opium that fueled widespread addiction. Today, the cultural aversion to taking drugs, in Chinese, literally “sucking poison”, is so strong addicts can be forced into police-run treatment centers. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

    SHANGHAI (AP) — The Sackler family’s opioid empire in the United States is collapsing under an avalanche of litigation over marketing tactics. Their Purdue Pharma company is in bankruptcy, but the family continues to profit from sales of their signature painkiller OxyContin abroad. Sales reps at their international affiliate, Mundipharma, have been chasing profits in China using many of the same tactics that Purdue was forced to abandon in the U.S. as the death toll from opioid overdoses soared, interviews and documents obtained by the AP show.

    Here are key findings from those documents and interviews.

    — Purdue and its executives paid a historic $635 million in legal penalties in the U.S. for misrepresenting OxyContin as less addictive than other opioids and pledged never to do it again. That didn’t stop Mundipharma sales reps from making the same pitch to doctors in China more than a decade later.

    — Mundipharma managers required sales reps to copy patients’ private medical records without consent to better target sales, in apparent violation of Chinese law.

    — Faced with fast-rising sales targets, OxyContin reps in China sometimes disguised themselves as medical staff, putting on white coats and lying about their identity to visit patients in the hospital.
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    — Mundipharma aggressively pushed high doses of opioids in China, despite warnings that higher doses carry higher risks of overdose and death. The year after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said that taking even 33mg of OxyContin a day at least doubles the risk of overdose, Mundipharma ran a campaign to promote sales of 40mg pills in China.

    #Sackler #OxyContin #Marché_mondial #Purdue_Pharma #Mundipharma

  • Amour, gloire et opioïdes – Binge Audio
    https://www.binge.audio/amour-gloire-et-opioides

    Des podcast sur la crise des opioides

    La crise des opioïdes est désormais mondiale : 34 million de personnes en consomment, 27 millions y sont accros, et les morts se comptent par centaines de milliers.

    Cette crise est particulièrement forte aux Etats-Unis, où une famille est considérée comme responsable de cette addiction généralisée : les Sackler, propriétaires des laboratoires Purdue Pharma qui commercialisent l’OxyContin, le médicament à l’origine du problème.

    Retour sur l’histoire de cette famille, milliardaire et mécène, devenue paria.

    #Sackler #Opioides

  • Addicted to Screens? That’s Really a You Problem - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/06/technology/phone-screen-addiction-tech-nir-eyal.html

    Nir Eyal does not for a second regret writing Silicon Valley’s tech engagement how-to, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” even as he now has a new book out on how to free ourselves of that same addiction.

    In his original manual for building enthralling smartphone apps, Mr. Eyal laid out the tricks “to subtly encourage customer behavior” and “bring users back again and again.” He toured tech companies speaking about the Hook Model, his four-step plan to grab and keep people with enticements like variable rewards, or pleasures that come at unpredictable intervals.

    “Slot machines provide a classic example of variable rewards,” Mr. Eyal wrote.

    Silicon Valley’s technorati hailed “Hooked.” Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups, a prolific incubator, called it “an essential crib sheet for any start-up looking to understand user psychology.”

    But that was 2014. That was when making a slot-machinelike app was a good and exciting thing. When “seductive interaction design” and “design for behavior change” were aspirational phrases.

    “Nir Eyal’s trying to flip,” said Richard Freed, a child psychologist who supports less screen time. “These people who’ve done this are all trying to come back selling the cure. But they’re the ones who’ve been selling the drugs in the first place.”

    “I’m sure the cigarette industry said there’s just a certain number of people with a propensity for lung disease,” he added.

    Mr. Eyal said he was not reversing himself. His Hook Model was useful, certainly, and he believed in the tactics. But it was not addicting people. It’s our fault, he said, not Instagram’s or Facebook’s or Apple’s.

    “It’s disrespectful for people who have the pathology of addiction to say, ‘Oh, we all have this disease,’” he said. “No, we don’t.”

    #Médias_sociaux #Addiction #Dopamine #Mir_Eyal

  • Purdue Pharma Warns That Sackler Family May Walk From Opioid Deal - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/health/purdue-sackler-opioid-settlement.html

    Après avoir été maïtres-assdassins, les Sacklers deviennent Maîtres chanteurs. Belle famille.
    Pour tout savoir, un seul livre : « Addiction sur ordonnance » par Patrick Radden Keefe https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    Members of the Sackler family could withdraw their pledge to pay $3 billion as part of a nationwide deal to address the opioid crisis if a bankruptcy judge does not block outstanding state lawsuits against them and their company, Purdue Pharma, Purdue lawyers said in a legal complaint.

    Whether the threat is posturing or real, the move by Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, to inject it into the company’s bankruptcy proceeding could jeopardize the tentative settlement it reached last week with representatives of thousands of local governments that have brought lawsuits against it. Two dozen state attorneys general who have sued the company in their own courts have signed on to the agreement, too.

    The $3 billion to be paid over seven years, plus another contribution the Sacklers would make with the proceeds of the sale of their British drug company, Mundipharma, is a key component of the deal. But all lawsuits must be resolved, the lawyers said.

    The new complaint, filed in bankruptcy court in White Plains on Wednesday night, is aimed at about two dozen states that have not signed on to the settlement and are continuing to pursue cases against both the company and various Sacklers.

    #Sackler #Too_much #Opioides

  • En ciblant Purdue Pharma, « l’appareil judiciaire américain s’attaque au capitalisme débridé »
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2019/09/16/en-ciblant-purdue-pharma-l-appareil-judiciaire-americain-s-attaque-au-capita

    Aujourd’hui, face à une crise qui à elle seule a réussi à faire chuter l’espérance de vie aux Etats-Unis, la quasi-totalité des Etats du pays a lancé des poursuites pour réclamer des dédommagements au nom du million de familles touchées par ce fléau. Au total, 2 600 plaintes ont été enregistrées. Pour tenter d’éteindre l’incendie, la société a demandé, dimanche 15 septembre, à être placée sous la protection du chapitre 11 de la loi sur les faillites. Et elle propose une résolution globale spectaculaire : la nationalisation de Purdue.
    Nationalisation des pertes

    Il s’agirait de confier la gestion de l’entreprise et l’ensemble de ses gains futurs à un trust représentant les Etats, l’ensemble des bénéfices leur étant reversés pour financer l’aide aux victimes et la recherche sur la lutte contre l’addiction. La transaction est évaluée à dix milliards de dollars et la famille Sackler a promis d’y ajouter trois milliards. Vingt-neuf Etats et territoires ont accepté la transaction, mais 26 autres s’y opposent formellement, dont celui de New York.

    Ils ne sont pas du tout d’accord avec cette nouvelle version de la privatisation des gains et de la nationalisation des pertes. Car, durant toutes ces années, la famille Sackler a vu sa fortune exploser, pour représenter, selon Forbes, près de 13 milliards de dollars. Elle doit rendre gorge, exigent les procureurs généraux, sortes de ministre de la justice des Etats. D’autant que l’enquête de celui de New York affirme que près d’un milliard de dollars aurait été discrètement envoyé en Suisse pour échapper au fisc.

    #Purdue_Pharma #Opioides #Capitalisme_sauvage #Sackler

  • Tentative opioids settlement falls short of nationwide deal
    https://www.apnews.com/fcb693fee634449cb8a0dc146251b18d

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A tentative settlement announced Wednesday over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis falls short of the far-reaching national settlement the OxyContin maker had been seeking for months, with litigation sure to continue against the company and the family that owns it.

    The agreement with about half the states and attorneys representing roughly 2,000 local governments would have Purdue file for a structured bankruptcy and pay as much as $12 billion over time, with about $3 billion coming from the Sackler family. That number involves future profits and the value of drugs currently in development.

    In addition, the family would have to give up its ownership of the company and contribute another $1.5 billion by selling another of its pharmaceutical companies, Mundipharma.

    Several attorneys general said the agreement was a better way to ensure compensation from Purdue and the Sacklers than taking their chances if Purdue files for bankruptcy on its own.

    Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the deal “was the quickest and surest way to get immediate relief for Arizona and for the communities that have been harmed by the opioid crisis and the actions of the Sackler family.”

    In a statement after Wednesday’s announcement, the company said that it “continues to work with all plaintiffs on reaching a comprehensive resolution to its opioid litigation that will deliver billions of dollars and vital opioid overdose rescue medicines to communities across the country impacted by the opioid crisis.”

    Even with Wednesday’s development, many states have not signed on. Several state attorneys general vowed to continue their legal battles against the Sacklers and the company in bankruptcy court. Roughly 20 states have sued members of the Sackler family in state courts.

    Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin were among the states saying they were not part of the agreement.

    “Our position remains firm and unchanged and nothing for us has changed today,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement.

    “The amount of money that’s being offered in this settlement doesn’t even scratch the surface for what’s needed,” Hampton said. “We want to see Purdue have their day in court. We know more money will come if this case goes to trial.”

    Les ordures sans vergogne :

    On Wednesday, the Sackler family said in a statement that it “supports working toward a global resolution that directs resources to the patients, families and communities across the country who are suffering and need assistance.”

    “This is the most effective way to address the urgency of the current public health crisis, and to fund real solutions, not endless litigation,” it said.

    In March, Purdue and members of the Sackler family reached a $270 million settlement with Oklahoma to avoid a trial on the toll of opioids there.

    A court filing made public in Massachusetts this year asserts that members of the Sackler family were paid more than $4 billion by Purdue from 2007 to 2018. Much of the family’s fortune is believed to be held outside the U.S., which could complicate lawsuits against the family over opioids.

    The Sacklers have given money to cultural institutions around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s Tate Modern.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès #Accord_amiable

  • Sacklers Reject Demand That They Surrender Personal Wealth To Settle Opioid Claims : NPR
    https://www.npr.org/2019/09/09/758927743/sacklers-reject-demand-they-surrender-personal-wealth-to-settle-opioid-claims

    The family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, has rejected a demand that they give up $4.5 billion of their personal wealth to settle opioid claims against the company, according to state attorneys general negotiating with the company.

    As a consequence, talks toward a national settlement with members of the Sackler family reached an impasse over the weekend, according to an email obtained by NPR.

    Two attorneys general directly involved in the talks predicted in the email that the company will now file for bankruptcy “imminently.”

    “States have already begun preparations for handling the bankruptcy proceedings,” wrote Josh Stein, North Carolina’s state attorney general, and Herbert Slatery, attorney general for Tennessee.

    “The Sacklers refused to budge,” the email concluded, “and have declined to offer any counterproposal.”

    The email, first reported by The Associated Press, was sent Saturday to other state attorneys general. It details an offer made to the Sacklers that would have forced them to pay billions of dollars to compensate states for their role helping to fuel the prescription opioid epidemic.

    The deal would also have forced Purdue Pharma into bankruptcy proceedings while dissolving the Sacklers’ overseas opioid business.

    But in a statement emailed to NPR Sunday night, the drug company suggested a deal might still be possible.

    “Purdue Pharma believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals,” the statement said. “Those negotiations continue and we remain dedicated to a resolution that genuinely advances the public interest.”

    Overdose deaths linked to prescription opioids have killed more than 218,000 Americans since the addiction crisis began in the late 1990s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    State and local governments have filed more than 2,000 lawsuits claiming Purdue Pharma played a central role marketing opioid medications, while downplaying the risks.

    Over two decades, opioid sales generated billions of dollars in profits for the company, making the Sacklers one of the richest families in the U.S.

    A spokesperson for Purdue Pharma declined an interview request by NPR and wouldn’t say whether the company is, in fact, considering an immediate bankruptcy filing. Last March, company officials acknowledged that filing for Chapter 11 protection is one strategy being considered.

    If Purdue Pharma does file for bankruptcy without first reaching some kind of structured deal, it could take years to sort out the remaining value of the company’s assets and then determine who’s first in line for compensation.

    Pressure to reach a settlement is also intensifying because a federal opioid trial involving Purdue Pharma and more than 20 other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains is set to begin next month in Cleveland.

    While that legal process moves forward, state attorneys general have promised to continue pursuing the Sacklers personally to recoup profits the family received from opioid sales, even if Purdue Pharma seeks Chapter 11 protection.

    “I won’t let them get away with their crimes,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote Saturday on Twitter. “I will sue them personally, so that we can dig into their personal pocketbooks.”

    The Wall Street Journal also reported Friday that the U.S. Justice Department is involved in separate talks with Purdue Pharma.

    According to the newspaper, those negotiations involve possible civil penalties tied to federal probes of Oxycontin sales, but could also include criminal charges using statutes normally used to prosecute drug dealers.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès

  • Le « naming », un piège à Louvre Texte Nicolas Cori Photo Denis Allard/Réa Édité par François Meurisse - 6 Aout 2019 - Les Jours

    Le musée s’est embourbé dans un contrat de mécénat avec la généreuse famille Sackler, accusée d’avoir créé la crise des opioïdes aux États-Unis.

    Prenez La Joconde, son sourire mystérieux et ses millions de visiteurs annuels. Imaginez maintenant des hordes d’activistes dénoncer régulièrement devant elle la complicité du Louvre face à l’une des plus grandes crises sanitaires qu’ait connues les États-Unis.
    Un tel scénario a dû donner des cauchemars à la direction du musée parisien. Le 1er juillet dernier, une poignée de militants emmenés par la photographe américaine Nan Goldin, les pieds dans l’eau et des banderoles à la main, ont manifesté devant la pyramide du Louvre afin de demander à ce que l’aile Sackler des antiquités orientales soit débaptisée. La famille Sackler est propriétaire du groupe pharmaceutique Purdue Pharma, accusé d’avoir incité les médecins américains à prescrire à tout va depuis le début des années 2000 de l’Oxycontin, un analgésique contenant de l’opium, créant ainsi la plus grosse épidémie d’overdoses médicamenteuses jamais vue outre-Atlantique. Eh bien, quelques semaines après ce modeste happening, la direction du Louvre a décidé d’effacer en toute discrétion le nom de Sackler de ses salles, tout en adoptant une communication très alambiquée.

    Interrogé le 16 juillet sur RTL, Jean-Luc Martinez, le président du Louvre, a ainsi affirmé qu’il n’avait pas à « débaptiser ces salles » car elles ne portaient « plus le nom de Sackler » depuis des années, étant donné que le « nommage » des salles – datant des années 1990 – ne durait que « vingt ans ». Une information que, visiblement, seul l’intéressé possédait : pourquoi une manifestation quinze jours auparavant sinon ? Cet épisode est révélateur de la gêne de la direction du Louvre, mais aussi des problèmes éthiques pesant sur l’une des contreparties (lire l’épisode 2, « Les riches jouent aux gros dons ») les plus contestables du mécénat : le « naming » ou « nommage » d’espaces pour remercier un donateur particulièrement généreux. Permettre qu’une entreprise ou une personne fortunée donne son nom à un bout de musée, c’est prendre le risque de voir la réputation de l’établissement mise à mal si le mécène ne s’avère pas sans reproches. Et qui est sans tache ? Le récit du mécénat Sackler au Louvre permet de s’en rendre compte..

    Overdoses
    En 2015, le nombre d’overdoses mortelles dues à des médicaments opioïdes a atteint le chiffre de 33 000 contre 4 000 en 1994, avant l’introduction de l’Oxycontin. Ce médicament était à l’origine destiné à soulager les malades du cancer mais la firme Purdue Pharma a développé une politique marketing très agressive, convaincant les médecins de prescrire ce médicament à tous les publics. . . . . . . .

    La suite, payante sur : https://lesjours.fr/obsessions/mecenes-mecenat/ep5-louvre-sackler

    #art #musée #mécénat #culture #peinture #musées #exposition #mémoire #merci #france #opioides #sackler #Oxycontin #big_pharma #drogues #opiacés #addiction #drogue #pharma #santé_publique #overdose #opioids #Louvre #naming

    • Le discours de Nan Goldin
      « Je suis ici aujourd’hui pour demander à ce que le Louvre retire le nom “Sackler”. Il y a douze salles dans le département des antiquités orientales qui ont le nom “Sackler”. Les Sackler possèdent un groupe pharmaceutique qui a déchaîné la plus grande crise de santé publique aux États-Unis. Les gens meurent à cause d’eux. (…) 1,7 million de personnes sont dépendantes. »

  • Addiction sur ordonnance : la crise des antidouleurs, par Patrick Radden Keeke est disponible en version epub.
    https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    Bonjour,

    Il y a des coïncidences qui ne trompent pas.

    Hier soir j’ai mis en place la vente de la version epub de « Addiction sur ordonnance : la crise des antidouleurs ».

    Et ce matin on apprend via le New York Times que Le Louvre a décidé de retirer le nom des Sackler, la famille à l’origine de cette crise, de l’aile du musée financée par leur « philanthropie ».

    C’est le bon moment pour mieux comprendre les tenants et aboutissants de cette affaire. Les opioïdes tuent plus de 50000 personnes aux États-Unis chaque année, plongent les familles dans l’angoisse et le déchirement. Cette crise à commencé parce que des médecins ont prescrit sans retenue OxyContin, un antidouleur opiacé soi-disant "non-addictif" produit par Purdue Pharma, l’entreprise des Sackler. Une entreprise plus spécialiste du marketing que de la pharmacie.

    Or cette famille apparait aux yeux des mondes de l’art comme composée de grands « philanthropes », en effectuant des donations aux musées et aux universités. Grâce à la photographe Nan Goldin, de multiples actions ont lieu dans ces institutions, dont celle au Louvre le 1 juillet qui ne doit pas être pour rien dans la décision du musée de retirer la mention des Sackler.

    L’enquête qui a rendu public le lien entre la pratique de la famille Sackler et la crise des opioïdes a été écrite par Patrick Radden Keefe et publiée dans le New Yorker... et c’est elle que nous avons traduit et publié dans « Addiction sur ordonnance »

    Cette enquête se lit comme un roman noir... très noir.

    Vous pouvez l’emporter cet été dans votre liseuse, ou commander la version imprimée :
    https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    (et en principe dans la journée la version epub sera également disponible dans les diverses libraires numériques)

    Bonne lecture,

    Hervé Le Crosnier

    Addiction sur ordonnance : la crise des antidouleur
    Patrick Radden Keefe
    trad. de l’anglais par Claire Richard
    avec des compléments rédigés par Frédéric Autran, Cécile Brajeul et Hervé Le Crosnier
    Version imprimée - 16 € - ISBN 978-2-915825-90-9
    Version epub - 8 € - ISBN 978-2-915825-91-6
    commande, information et obtention d’un extrait spécimen :
    https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    #Sackler #Opioides #C&F_éditions

  • Louvre Removes Sackler Family Name From Its Walls - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/17/arts/design/sackler-family-louvre.html

    The Louvre in Paris has removed the name of the Sackler family from its walls, becoming the first major museum to erase its public association with the philanthropist family linked with the opioid crisis in the United States.

    The Louvre’s collection of Persian and Levantine artifacts is housed in a wing that has been known as the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities since 1997.

    But on Wednesday, a plaque acknowledging the Sacklers’ donations had been removed from the gallery’s entrance, and references to “the Sackler Wing” on other signs in the museum had been covered with gray tape.

    Members of the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, an enormously profitable and frequently abused painkiller that is the subject of numerous lawsuits in the United States.

    Les faux-culs !!!

    Nine other signs in the building that referenced the wing had been taped over. Ms. Aguirre said another large sign that acknowledged the Sackler donation had also been removed.References to “the Sackler Wing” have also been removed from the Louvre’s website.

    On Tuesday, Jean-Luc Martinez, the museum’s president, told RTL, a French radio station, that the Sackler name had been taken down because the Louvre’s policy on naming rights is that they last for 20 years.

    A spokeswoman for the Louvre did not respond to emails asking why, if naming rights only lasted 20 years, the name had not been painted over earlier.

    The Sackler family declined to comment through a spokesman from Edelman, the public relations firm that represents them in Britain.

    Ms. Goldin said she recognized that many museums could not follow the Louvre’s example without breaking their contracts, but she hoped they found a way. “I know that the museums, especially in America, have enormous trouble being funded and it’s so important museums stay open,” she said. “But museums are also about ethics and morality.”

    A spokeswoman for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which has a Sackler Courtyard, said in an emailed statement on Wednesday that the museum was “not considering the removal of any signage related to our past or present donors.”

    “We’re proud to have been supported by the Sacklers,” Tristram Hunt, the museum’s director, told the BBC on July 10.

    Tate did not intend to rename the Sackler escalator at Tate Modern, it said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

    A spokeswoman for the Jewish Museum in Berlin said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that the Louvre’s move did not change an earlier statement about its Sackler staircase.

    “We will not be changing the name because we feel that renaming would be an inappropriate attempt to disguise what happened,” that statement, issued in March, said. “It would also contradict the fact that we acted in good faith.”

    #Opioides #Sackler #Louvre #Philanthropie

  • 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

  • Nation’s first opioid trial could set precedent for massive pharma payouts - POLITICO
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/28/opioid-trial-pharma-payouts-1344953

    The Oklahoma trial, which will be broadcast online, is expected to last for much of the summer, putting a national spotlight on the opioid crisis, which is still killing 130 people in the United States every day. The testimony will focus on how much manufacturers of highly addictive painkillers are to blame for getting patients hooked on opioids through misleading medical claims and aggressive marketing practices.

    The trial involving Johnson & Johnson will be closely watched by the hundreds of parties participating in the larger multi-district litigation overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, who has been pushing for a massive settlement before the first of those cases go to trial in the fall.

    “It’s going to be one of the first times that there will be evidence presented in an open forum about how we got to where we are,” said Joe Rice, co-lead counsel in the federal litigation targeting drugmakers and distributors in Ohio. “That’s a big question that a lot of people in the health community want to know. … Why and how did we get here?”

    On Sunday, Oklahoma also announced an $85 million settlement with Teva. That left Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals as the sole remaining defendant, barring a last-minute settlement.

    Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family, settled with Oklahoma for $270 million in March, which some state lawmakers and public health experts condemned as too meager. The biggest chunk of that settlement, $200 million, will be used to establish a new addiction treatment center at the University of Oklahoma. Another $60 million will be paid to attorneys involved in the case, and just $12 million will filter down to cities and towns struggling to deal with the addiction epidemic.

    Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter stressed that the settlement was the best option because of the threat that Purdue would declare bankruptcy and the state might end up with nothing. But that means Oklahoma’s attorneys will have to make the potentially trickier case that other, less notorious players in the opioid pipeline created a “public nuisance” in the state by pushing misleading medical claims.

    #Opioides #Oklahoma #Sackler

  • Opinion | When Your Money Is So Tainted Museums Don’t Want It - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/opinion/sunday/met-sackler.html

    “Gifts that are not in the public interest.” It is a pregnant, important phrase. Coming on the heels of similar decisions by the Tate Modern in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the spurning of Oxy-cash seems to reflect a growing awareness that gifts to the arts and other good causes are not only a way for ultra-wealthy people to scrub their consciences and reputations. Philanthropy can also be central to purchasing the immunity needed to profiteer at the expense of the common welfare.

    Perhaps accepting tainted money in such cases isn’t just giving people a pass. Perhaps it is enabling misconduct against the public.

    This was the startling assertion made by New York State in its civil complaint, filed in March, against members of the Sackler family and others involved in the opioid crisis. It accused defendants of seeking to “profiteer from the plague they knew would be unleashed.” And the lawsuit explicitly linked Sackler do-gooding with Sackler harm-doing: “Ultimately, the Sacklers used their ill-gotten wealth to cover up their misconduct with a philanthropic campaign intending to whitewash their decades-long success in profiting at New Yorkers’ expense.”

    “No amount of charity in spending such fortunes can compensate in any way for the misconduct in acquiring them,” Theodore Roosevelt said after John D. Rockefeller proposed starting a foundation in 1909. It was not a lonely thought at the time.

    But in the decades since, not least because of the amount of philanthropic coin that has been spent (can it still be called bribing when millions are the recipients?), touching all corners of our cultural life, attitudes have changed. And, as I found in spending the last few years reporting on nonprofits and foundations, a deeply complicit silence took hold: It was understood that you don’t challenge people on how they make their money, how they pay their taxes (or don’t), what continuing deeds they may be engaged in — so long as they “give back.”

    #Opioides #Sackler #Musées #Philanthropie

  • 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

  • Les Etats-Unis minés par la crise sanitaire de l’Oxycontin - Libération
    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/05/07/les-etats-unis-mines-par-la-crise-sanitaire-de-l-oxycontin_1725536

    Il devait tuer les douleurs les plus tenaces. Il a beaucoup tué tout court. Combien d’Américains sont morts d’une overdose d’Oxycontin depuis la mise sur le marché de ce puissant analgésique, en 1996 ? Entre 100 000 et 200 000, si l’on en croit les statistiques officielles, parcellaires mais révélatrices de l’ampleur du phénomène. Un fait ne souffre aucune contestation : l’Oxycontin, alors présenté comme un médicament révolutionnaire et sans danger, a déclenché puis nourri la crise des opiacés qui ravage le pays depuis près d’un quart de siècle. Un fléau en perpétuelle mutation et au bilan humain considérable.

    A LIRE AUSSI
    Opioïdes : les patients paient l’addiction

    En 2017 (dernière année disponible), plus de 70 000 personnes ont succombé à une surconsommation de drogue aux Etats-Unis, en hausse de près de 10 % sur un an, signe que le pic de l’épidémie n’est pas atteint. De l’abondance de chiffres publiés par le Centre pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies (CDC), on retiendra que plus de deux tiers de ces overdoses impliquaient des opiacés. Dans cette vaste famille de molécules dérivées de l’opium, le CDC distingue quatre sous-catégories : héroïne, méthadone, opiacés naturels et semi-synthétiques (comme l’Oxycontin) et, enfin, opiacés synthétiques de nouvelle génération, comme le surpuissant fentanyl, devenu la principale source d’inquiétude.

    Comment la première puissance mondiale a-t-elle pu se laisser ronger par une épidémie qui n’épargne aucune région, aucun milieu social ? Cela tient, fondamentalement, aux failles d’un système de santé largement privatisé et trop peu régulé. Des failles dans lesquelles des laboratoires pharmaceutiques se sont engouffrés, amassant des fortunes sur le dos de millions d’Américains rendus toxicomanes avec la complicité de distributeurs, médecins et pharmaciens sans états d’âme. Conçus pour soulager des douleurs sévères associées au cancer ou à la chirurgie, l’Oxycontin et d’autres opiacés ont été prescrits abusivement et en quantité colossale pour des douleurs plus légères. Déclenchant un cycle infernal d’addictions.

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • La famille Sackler, maîtres des #opioïdes et amis des arts
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2019/04/25/les-sackler-amis-des-arts-et-pharmaciens-mortiferes_5454532_3234.html

    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.

    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).

    L’histoire débute avec les trois frères Sackler, fils d’immigrants juifs de Galice 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).

    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.

  • 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

  • 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