Suing the Sacklers

April 08, 2019
 

Verity Winship University of Illinois College of Law

University of Illinois College of Law

Purdue Pharma and related companies are infamous for their key product: OxyContin. Private plaintiffs and government enforcers have sued these companies in court in an ongoing quest for accountability for the opioid emergency. For a long time, suits were brought mostly against the pharmaceutical companies. Not any more. State AGs have begun to sue members of the Sackler family that own the drug companies. This radio commentary looks at what the court documents say about secret Project Tango, payout of billions to family members, and the plan to make money from addiction treatment as an “end-to-end pain provider.” It also considers how suing the Sacklers—and other litigations of public concern—can force information into the public view.Purdue Pharma and related companies are infamous for their key product: OxyContin. Private plaintiffs and government enforcers have sued these companies in court in an ongoing quest for accountability for the opioid emergency. For a long time, suits were brought mostly against the pharmaceutical companies. Not any more. State AGs have begun to sue members of the Sackler family that own the drug companies. This radio commentary looks at what the court documents say about secret Project Tango, payout of billions to family members, and the plan to make money from addiction treatment as an “end-to-end pain provider.” It also considers how suing the Sacklers—and other litigations of public concern—can force information into the public view.