“In this Feb. 16, 2017, photo, Everett, WA. Mayor Ray Stephanson sits in his corner office
overlooking downtown Everett. Stephanson is suing pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma,
becoming the first city trying to hold the maker of OxyContin accountable for damages.”
Photo credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
– “Big Pharma Channeled Opioids to Black Market”
“Purdue Pharma is being sued by the city of Everett, Washington, which has been hard-hit by deaths from opioid painkiller and heroin abuse.
The suit alleges that Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, supplied the drug to ‘obviously suspicious pharmacies and physicians and enabl[ed] the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market’ in the city.
Mayor Ray Stephanson told CBS News that the city has been significantly damaged and its resources, including first responders and even crews cleaning up syringes in public parks, significantly strained as a result of the drugs flowing into their community.
The case is built around a 2016 investigation by the Los Angeles Times, which revealed OxyContin was being trafficked illegally from California to Washington, and suggested Purdue Pharma knew about it but did nothing to stop it.4 The drug maker is no stranger to litigation. CBS News reported:
‘In 2007, Purdue Pharma and its executives paid more than $630 million in legal penalties to the federal government for willfully misrepresenting the drug’s addiction risks.
The same year, it also settled with Washington and other states that claimed the company aggressively marketed OxyContin to doctors while downplaying the addiction risk. As part of that settlement, it agreed to continue internal controls to identify potential diversion or abuse,’” by Dr. Mercola.