Purdue Pharmaceuticals is arguably one of the most evil companies in business today, with the difference between them and other companies is not in nature, but the fact that they got caught in their crimes. Run by the Sackler family, the company is one of several entities directly responsible for the creation of the opioid crisis due to the fact that they peddled opiate drugs in highly addictive arrangements for the purpose of creating addictions and then seeking to worsen said addictions solely for profit.
Massive lawsuits were levied against them, and public outrage continued to develop for right reason. But it was merely hours after the board for Purdue pharmaceuticals agreed to a settlement with just over 2,000 claimants, including dozens of states, that she not surprisingly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This move was well-expected and intended to shield the company and the Sacklers from financial destruction due to the fact that they are the cause and share in the blame for starting the opioid crisis with their immoral marketing tactics for their signature drug OxyContin.
This is taking place at a time when over a hundred people in the US die every day from opioid-related illnesses. It is clear that Purdue is hoping that this settlement will eliminate the claims of most made against them and thus allow the company to restructure and emerge from bankruptcy under what would likely be “new ownership” and in a way so as to continue doing business as before.
Many litigants agreed to the company’s settlement proposal last week, a number of holdouts, including two dozen states, refused, insisting on more onerous terms for Purdue:
The worth of the settlement has been a subject of contention. In its statement announcing the filing, Purdue said it assessed the value at $10 billion. But the 26 states that have opposed the deal have disparaged those numbers, saying they are highly speculative and based on optimistic calculations that may take years to realize.The opposing states also object to the deal because its structure allows the Sacklers, through Mundipharma, to participate in the drug manufacturing business until it is sold. These states note that the resolution of the lawsuits will be paid in part from ongoing sales of OxyContin in the United States and abroad — rather than all of it from the Sacklers themselves. (source, source)
The company was the first to introduce fast-acting OxyContin to market in the 1990s, the drug that more than any other pharmaceutical has been blamed for causing the opioid crisis.
Now while Purdue faces lawsuits from nearly every state, as well as thousands of governments, companies, and individuals seeking compensation for the costs of the opioid epidemic, in a highly ironic twist, last week the NY Attorney General found wire transfers from Purdue to Sackler-controlled Swiss bank accounts .
According to a series of leaks, terms of the proposal include: The Sacklers surrendering ownership of the company and paying $3 billion in cash to the plaintiffs over seven years, and selling their UK-based drug company, Mundipharma. The proceeds from that sale would add “substantial further monetary contributions” to the settlement pot.
As noted above, while Purdue has assessed the value of the settlement at $10 billion, the 26 states which are opposing the settlement insist that Purdue’s numbers are false and assume overly optimistic projections.
What is most interesting about the story is that due to it being regarded as a “corporate” issue, the Sacklers will never face any jail time, and if they were to, it would not be related to the production or distribution of drugs.
Drugs are a major problem in the US, and they are also a source of much of the crime. Approximately 25% of all non-violent offenders in prison are there strictly for drug offenses, and while it is not to say that drugs are a good or commendable thing that one should do, the people who are going to prison for drug offenses many times are the poor, destitute, or those in a difficult social situation. These people will then be blamed for “destroying communities” and murdering people by consuming, promoting, or selling drugs, when the major businesses and entities who bear a tremendously larger and more serious responsibility for doing the same crimes and worse- such as the Sackler family -are allowed to pay a fine of which they will likely only pay a very small amount, as they will hide the rest of their finances and continue to do as they did before but under a different name and legal structure. This is not justice at all, but a mockery of justice because nothing is going to happen to better the damage they did.
The Sackler family needs for the good of the public to have their assets stripped and be thrown in jail. Given how many states order the death penalty for drug trafficking, it is arguable that they should be placed on death row in multiple states for their crimes because they knew what they were doing and they did it to hurt people for profit. They did not try to hide this for years. Likewise, a similar standard applies to the many doctors and businessmen- “respectable” people -who made their careers as the drug dealers for the Sackler kingpins. Are they also not worthy of death under the same laws that the average Travis, Hector, or Daeshaun would be subject to if they were caught in their respective areas, albeit with far less since they are merely individuals or in small groups?
Crime is always a problem, and while “small” criminals need to be dealt with appropriately, many times they are treated in a way that in unbalanced, especially when compared to major criminals who create the conditions owing to their money and power for crime to exist. It is the common man who suffers the hardest, while the wealthiest and powerful get away and are able to continue what they do.
The worst criminals are not those who carry guns and knives. It is the ones with well-pressed suits who sit behind neat desks in attractive places that are the real ones to worry about.