On this blog we talk about the opioid crisis all the time. As one of the best drug and alcohol rehabs in Florida, Florida Springs in Panama City is an organization dedicated to cleaning up the wreckage that has been done to people’s lives by overprescribed opioids like Oxycontin. The maker of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, has also come up on this blog many times because of the infamous crimes that Purdue Pharma committed to earn the Sackler Family, the family behind Purdue Pharma, their fortune. The process of prosecuting Purdue Pharma has been arduous, but today we know that the Sackler family intended to get people hooked on opioids to increase sales, we know they lied about the safety of their drugs, and we know that the deaths that built up in the wake of the opioid crisis did not deter their greed in any way. We have tapes of their phone conversations, and we have the company emails. It is all disgusting criminal activity at the highest corporate level, and it has killed many Americans. Overdose deaths were at an all time high in the last year.
Punishing Purdue Pharma
When I covered this topic 1 year ago, Purdue Pharma was finally told to pay billions of dollars to its victims. It is important to note that the vast majority of people who suffer from opioid addiction today will not see any of that money, even though most of them started using Oxycontin and other similar medications that were said to be less addictive. Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center, the best drug and alcohol rehab in Panama City Florida, has many clients who started using opioids when a doctor prescribed them Oxycontin. Every good rehabilitation clinic for drug and alcohol addiction has many clients with that story. The problem is simply too massive, there are too many people who have been harmed by Oxycontin, and some of those people are now dead or have been living with addiction for so long that news of a payment for victims will not reach them or make much of a difference decades after the fact. School districts and health care providers, who were victimized by Purdue Pharma one person at a time, one employee, one student, one patient, may see some of the money. That is good news. To me, the biggest piece of good news was the fact that Purdue Pharma was forced to plead guilty. The federal government and state attorneys general did their job for the people of this country and gathered so much evidence that Purdue Pharma could only reasonably plead guilty.
What that guilty plea will ultimately mean is now at issue this week. Those same state attorneys who worked for a guilty plea are not in total agreement on punishment. Everyone agrees that Purdue Pharma should pay, and pay big. However, remember those tapes and emails I mentioned earlier? The Sackler family and high ranking officers of Purdue Pharma have admitted to felonies that got people killed. Thousands of people are dead. Should the punishment be merely financial? That question will soon be answered by the court, and things seem to be going in the wrong direction for anyone who believes the people responsible for Oxycontin and thousands of overdoses and ruined lives should face some time in prison. The Sackler Family, including key members of the family who managed the effort to get people addicted and enticed doctors to break the law and overprescribe, may now receive immunity from prosecution. Not only that, Purdue Pharma, by pleading guilty, agreed to pay billions of dollars in penalties and to victims. Now some members of the prosecuting team have expressed that a one-time payment of 250 million dollars may be punishment enough. The Sackler family should go to jail, and they should not be rich from Oxycontin, but at the very least we should expect that they would pay the amount originally stipulated in the guilty plea agreement. That is what is at stake right now.
Anyone who is already a member of the class action suit against Purdue Pharma is being asked to vote on various aspects of these agreements. The most important decision, however, may be left up to the state attorneys general.
If you have been harmed by Oxycontin you should let your state attorney general know that you support strict punishment and jailtime for those guilty of causing the opioid epidemic. If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for opioid addiction, the best drug and alcohol rehab is Florida Springs in Panama City, and you can call today at the number listed above.
By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)