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The Dr. Mortimer and Dr. Raymond Sackler families today issued the following statement in connection with Purdue Pharma’s settlement with the State of Oklahoma:
We are pleased to participate in the unique landmark agreement announced today with Attorney General Hunter and Purdue Pharma that will result in the establishment of a National Center for Addiction Studies and Treatment at the Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, as an adjunct to OSU's existing Center for Wellness and Recovery.
Although not a party to the Oklahoma litigation, the Dr. Mortimer and Dr. Raymond Sackler families have voluntarily pledged an additional $75 million donation to further advance the life-saving work of the innovative National Center. We applaud Attorney General Hunter for his thoughtful and constructive approach to this agreement, which recognizes the complexity and multiple causes of our nation’s addiction epidemic, one that is rapidly worsening because of illegally manufactured fentanyl smuggled by drug traffickers into the U.S. from China and Mexico.
Purdue Pharma manufactures an FDA-approved medicine that has always represented a tiny portion of the opioid market—never more than four percent of nationwide opioid prescriptions and currently less than two percent—while providing life-changing relief for the millions of pain patients who have needed it.
The agreement reached today will provide assistance to individuals nationwide who desperately need these services—rather than squandering resources on protracted litigation—and is in keeping with our continuing commitment to making meaningful contributions to solutions that save lives. We have profound compassion for those who are affected by addiction and are committed to playing a constructive role in the coordinated effort to save lives.
We also want to make clear that the recent attacks on our family are not accurate and misdirect attention away from crucial issues such as the terrifying rise in illicit fentanyl overdoses. To that end, Purdue Pharma recently received fast-track approval from the FDA for its groundbreaking drug, Nalmefene, which is designed to reverse fentanyl overdoses. With our support, the Company has pledged that it will not profit from Nalmefene, and that it will also donate $20 million worth of addiction treatment medicines to the National Center.
While the agreement announced today is not a financial model for future settlement discussions, the establishment of the National Center is a unique and important step that we hope will save lives, by creating breakthrough innovations in the prevention and treatment of addiction, and point towards how we can achieve a national resolution.
Ellen Davis/Bob Rendine
Sard Verbinnen & Co
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