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Sacklers, Others Cost Pennsylvania Billions via Opioids Class Action

This class action brings suit against seventeen individuals, seven bearing the last or middle name “Sackler,” each of whom, the complaint alleges, has played a part in spreading opioid addiction in Pennsylvania. The complaint charges that they “have gained extreme monetary wealth and caused extreme financial harm to the addicted and their families.”

The Sackler defendants, the complaint claims, used deceptive sales and marketing practices to sell opioids and make billions of dollars. A group of five non-Sacklers, according to the complaint, knew about this conduct and “acted in a manner which advanced the [Sacklers’] scheme. The complaint further claims that others followed the Sacklers’ wishes, helped deceive the public about opioids, and “carried out the [Sacklers’] system of distributing life-threatening pills which defendants knew were highly addictive and deadly.”

To figure the costs of opioid addiction, the complaint says, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adapted a method devised by the Council for Economic Advisers. This sets the costs for Pennsylvania at $53.77 billion. These costs are divided among five areas:

  • Healthcare spending
  • Addiction treatment
  • Criminal justice operations
  • Lost productivity
  • Opioid-related fatalities

Up to the mid-1990s, the complaint says, doctors prescribed opioids for a short time for severe pain for patients at the end of their lives. But in 1996, the complaint claims, “defendants introduced OxyContin. OxyContin’s sole active ingredient is Oxycodone, a molecule nearly identical to heroin.”

The complaint charges that the defendants knew that “Oxycontin was more addictive than morphine” but misled doctors to believe that it was not.

The complaint says, they “obscured the risks by falsely stating and implying the ‘appropriate’ patients would not get addicted…”

The complaint details allegations about marketing and sales tactics used to promote the opioids and efforts to increase sales by suggesting that doctors prescribe them in higher doses. Even when patients showed signs of addiction, the complaint alleges, doctors were told to think of it as “pseudoaddiction” and to increase dosages.

The complaint alleges, “By 2006, prosecutors [had] found damning evidence that Defendants [had] intentionally deceived doctors and patients about the opioids.” However, the complaint asserts that the defendants’ actions continued.

Three subclasses have been defined for this action:

  • Subclass A is individuals living in Pennsylvania who (1) became addicted to OxyContin prescribed by a certified physician, (2) who have their addiction under control with the help or monitoring of a certified physician or medical aid and (3) who can establish loss of income related to their OxyContin addiction or associated medical costs.
  • Subclass B is persons who incurred (1) medical costs for the treatment or care of their children who became addicted to OxyContin and (2) funeral expenses for those children who died from addiction to OxyContin.
  • Subclass C is people who lost spouses to OxyContin and as a result (1) lost their abode or (2) did or don’t have the financial means to give their children a post-high school education or (3) incurred funeral expenses for their spouses or the early death of children.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Sacklers, Others Cost Pennsylvania Billions via Opioids Complaint

April 30, 2021

This class action brings suit against seventeen individuals, seven bearing the last or middle name “Sackler,” each of whom, the complaint alleges, has played a part in spreading opioid addiction in Pennsylvania. The complaint charges that they “have gained extreme monetary wealth and caused extreme financial harm to the addicted and their families.”

Sacklers, Others Cost Pennsylvania Billions via Opioids Complaint

Case Event History

Sacklers, Others Cost Pennsylvania Billions via Opioids Complaint

April 30, 2021

This class action brings suit against seventeen individuals, seven bearing the last or middle name “Sackler,” each of whom, the complaint alleges, has played a part in spreading opioid addiction in Pennsylvania. The complaint charges that they “have gained extreme monetary wealth and caused extreme financial harm to the addicted and their families.”

Sacklers, Others Cost Pennsylvania Billions via Opioids Complaint
Tags: Addiction or Costs of Addiction, Deceptive Advertising, Opioids, Pharmaceuticals