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Stop the Grandstanding and Get Settlement Money to Opioid Treatment Centers (Guest: Peter Pitts)

March 30, 2022

Purdue Pharma, drug maker and distributor, has agreed to pay 26 billion dollars to settle state and municipal lawsuits for its role in the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Purdue Pharma, drug maker and distributor, has agreed to pay 26 billion dollars to settle state and municipal lawsuits for its role in the nationwide opioid epidemic. Peter Pitts is the president and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and former associate commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pitts says the litigation has gone on long enough and it’s time to distribute that money to where it is needed most, the treatment centers, especially after record numbers of people died from opioid overdose during the pandemic.

Peter Pitts discusses what is holding up the distribution of settlement funds, why plaintiff states are dragging their feet, whether all plaintiffs have to agree on the distribution of funds, and how similar the opioid litigation is to the case against tobacco companies in the 1990s. In the 90s, settlement money went to everyone except the victims.  Pitts criticizes attorney generals for grandstanding, and the more they delay, the more people will suffer. Americans suffering from the blight of opioid addiction should not be held prisoners.

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Author
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.
amschieber@heartland.org @HCPolicy