His family helped cause the opioid crisis [&] now he might profit from addiction treatment
Sackler is listed as one of six inventors on the patent for a new formulation of buprenorphine, a highly effective medication for treating opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is already available as a pill and film, but the new version would be a wafer that may dissolve even faster.
By encouraging greater use of opioids for all sorts of pain, the company helped the pills proliferate. They ended up not just in patients’ hands, but in the hands of teens rummaging through their parents’ medicine cabinets, friends and family members of patients, and a black market where excess pills could be sold for a big markup. But this was good for opioid makers’ bottom line. As drug overdose deaths and addiction treatment admissions rose, so too did opioid companies’ profits. In 2007, Purdue Pharma and three of its top executives paid more than $630 million in federal fines for their misleading marketing. The three executives were also criminally convicted, each sentenced to three years of probation and 400 hours of community service. But the fines amounted to very little of the tens of billions of dollars in revenue that the company has reaped from OxyContin since its debut in the mid-1990s and even after 2007. That’s one reason why Purdue still faces hundreds of lawsuits, including from governments, over its marketing of the opioid — although Purdue, for its part, has denied the allegations in court.
Original Article (Vox):
His family helped cause the opioid crisis. Now he might profit from addiction treatment.
Artwork Fair Use: Anna Frodesiak