The opioid crisis in Everett is deeply troubling and requires immediate intervention, but the lawsuit filed against Purdue is not the answer, nor is Purdue the cause. Both the lawsuit and the Los Angeles Times article on which it is based paint a flawed and inaccurate portrayal of events that led to the crisis.
In addition to the fact that OxyContin accounts for less than 2 percent of opioid prescriptions nationwide, public records ignored by the Los Angeles Times and this lawsuit demonstrate that law enforcement was diligently investigating the criminal diversion at issue in Los Angeles long before manufacturers or wholesalers were aware of suspicious activity. In fact, the DEA specifically requested that one wholesaler continue business as usual so that suspects were not tipped off before investigators were ready to act.
Purdue has led the industry in developing the first FDA-approved opioid medication with abuse-deterrent properties and has committed significant resources to develop effective non-opioid pain medications. The cessation of opioid abuse is among Purdue’s top priorities, but misguided lawsuits that ignore the facts distract us all from a fight America cannot afford to lose.
Robert Josephson, executive director, public affairs, Purdue Pharma, Stamford, Conn.