MHA joined Attorney General Maura Healey last week in urging the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to reject Purdue Pharma’s proposed opioid crisis settlement and its request for a nationwide injunction that would stop all lawsuits against the company and the Sackler family.
“Purdue Pharma’s well-documented deception relating to opioids and the nationwide tragedy that followed its actions requires a full accounting of its responsibility,” MHA President & CEO Steve Walsh wrote in the letter to Judge Robert Drain. “The court should not permit Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers to escape their responsibilities with incomplete and inadequate restitution, especially while patients continue to suffer from the company’s duplicity, and others, including the hospital community, continue to expend time, effort, and resources to resolve the devastation left in Purdue Pharma’s wake.”
AG Healey and 24 other attorneys general across the U.S. are opposing Purdue Pharma’s motion. Governor Charlie Baker, along with healthcare and patient advocates, among others, also wrote letters in support of the AGs.
Walsh cited the leading efforts of Massachusetts hospitals to create guidelines and new medical protocols for the treatment of substance use disorder (SUD), as well as operational changes, standards about the release of SUD information to the courts, and many other initiatives required by the opioid scourge that has resulted in thousands of deaths in Massachusetts and across the country.
“Absolving the Sackler family and its company of responsibility through bankruptcy protection would not be in the public interest,” Walsh wrote. “In fact, letting the architects of the problem walk away relatively unscathed while patients and the public health community continue to flounder in the rubble of their opioid scheme would be unconscionable and unjust.”