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Tobacco giant's takeover bid could affect COPD lung disease treatment and research in Australia

The tobacco giant behind the Marlboro man has sparked outrage in medical circles over a bid to invest in a company that develops inhaler technology, which could see it profit from the smoking-related lung diseases it helped create. (ABCnet News, Australien, 14.09.2021)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-14/smoking-giant-philip-morris-take-over-plans-fears/100452160

USA. The Opioid Settlement, Stigma, Disempowerment, and Nonconsensual Third-Party Releases

“We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible, they are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.” – Dr. Richard Sackler

The multibillion-dollar Opioid Settlement. The infamous first family of overdose deaths, the real criminals get awarded immunity. The “abusers” get hammered, once again. Families lost their chance at justice. We see and feel how our institutions marginalize the marginalized, once again. (Recovery Review, USA, 18.09.2021)

https://recoveryreview.blog/2021/09/18/the-opioid-settlement-stigma-disempowerment-and-nonconsensual-third-party-releases/

USA. An Insider from the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Speaks Out

A new memoir by a victims’ advocate describes a process that seemed fixed from the start. (The New Yorker, USA, 20.09.2021)

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-insider-from-the-purdue-pharma-bankruptcy-speaks-out

USA. US moves to block Purdue Pharma opioid settlement

The US Justice Department has challenged a plan that would dissolve Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the OxyContin drug that has been blamed for the country's opioid crisis, while shielding its founders from lawsuits. (MedicalXpress, USA, 16.09.2021)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-block-purdue-pharma-opioid-settlement.html

Tobacco firm Philip Morris taking over inhaler maker Vectura ‘feels very uncomfortable’, say health groups

‘They’ve got a monopoly now of the disease lifecycle where they’ll give you the disease in the first place and then they’ll treat it’. (iNews Health, UK, 16.09.2021)

https://inews.co.uk/news/health/tobacco-firm-philip-morris-taking-over-inhaler-maker-vectura-feels-very-uncomfortable-say-health-groups-1203250

USA. Warum Amazon jetzt Cannabis-Aktien anschiebt

Amazon öffnet sich zunehmend gegenüber Marihuana. Das schiebt die Kurse von Cannabis-Aktien an. (Börse online, 10.06.2021)

https://www.boerse-online.de/nachrichten/aktien/warum-amazon-jetzt-cannabis-aktien-anschiebt-1030506538

USA. The Sacklers Are Walking Off Into the Sunset. Reform the System.

By Ryan Hampton

Mr. Hampton was a co-chair of the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy. (New York Times, USA, 11.09.2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/opinion/purdue-sacklers-opioids-oxycontin-settlement.html

USA. Judge conditionally approves plan to dissolve OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma 

(…) The settlement resolves all civil litigation against the Sackler family members, Purdue Pharma and other related parties and entities, and awards them broad legal protection against future civil litigation.

(…) Under the settlement, Purdue Pharma's operating assets will be transferred to a newly formed public benefit company that will not include any stakeholders from the Sackler family.

The settlement does not protect the Sackler family members and other named parties against potential criminal actions. States attorneys general and the Justice Department could still prosecute. (CNN Business, USA, 02.09.2021)

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/01/business/purdue-sackler-opioid-bankruptcy-ruling/index.html

USA. The Sacklers, Who Made Billions From OxyContin, Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits 

Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication.

Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic.

"This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." (npr – National Public Radio, 01.09.2021)

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1031053251/sackler-family-immunity-purdue-pharma-oxcyontin-opioid-epidemic

USA. Opioids have killed 600,000 Americans. The Sacklers just got off basically scot-free

A bankruptcy court gave members of the pharma family immunity from further civil suits. They don’t have to admit wrongdoing – and they may end up richer than they started. (The Guardian, 05.09.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/05/opioids-killed-600000-americans-sacklers-immunity

USA/Deutschland. Empire of Pain - The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty -- In US-Opioid-Krise verwickelter Pharmakonzern Purdue wird zerschlagen – Wird Mundipharma verkauft?

Mundipharma (Wikipedia: engl. und dt.) befindet sich im Besitz von Mitgliedern der Familie Sackler, die im Spiegel als „Drogen Clan“ bezeichnet wird. Deren Firma Purdue Pharma („The Empire of Pain“) soll mit dem ioid Oxycontin® (Oxycodon) nicht  unerheblich zur nordamerikanischen Opioidkrise beigetragen haben. Beteiligt an der inflationären Ausweitung von Opioidverordnungen waren auch Aufsichtsbehörden, Ärzt*innen, Apotheken und Pharmagroßhändler. Die Zahl der in den USA seit der Jahrtausendwende durch Opioidüberdosierungen verstorbenen Menschen in den USA beträgt mehr als eine halbe Million; in der Folge ist die Lebenserwartung bereits vor Covid-19 zurückgegangen. Nach jahrelangen Protestaktionen und gerichtlichen Auseinandersetzungen um Entschädigungen hat nun ein Insolvenzrichter entschieden, den Konzern zu zerschlagen, wie das Handelsblatt am 2.9.2021 berichtete. Der aktuelle Richterspruch betrifft auch den internationalen Besitz der Sacklers: „The settlement also requires members of the Sackler family (…) to get out of the opioid business worldwide.“ In den Anteil der Sacklers an den Entschädigungen soll demnach auch die Verkaufssumme für Mundipharma einfließen. Der Familie droht keine Verarmung: Mehr als zehn Millarden Dollar sollen laut einem Bloomberg-Bericht in Steueroasen verschoben worden sein.

Buchempfehlung: Empire of Pain - The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

By Patrick Radden Keefe

Hardcover, $32.50, Published by Doubleday, Apr 13, 2021 | 560 Pages | 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 | ISBN 9780385545686

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612861/empire-of-pain-by-patrick-radden-keefe/

USA. Pharmabranche Opioid-Epidemie: Oxycontin-Hersteller-Familie Sackler muss Milliarden zahlen 

Mit ihrem aggressiven Marketing für das Opioid Oxycontin hat der Hersteller Millionen Amerikaner in die Abhängigkeit getrieben. Nun muss er dafür zahlen. (Handelsblatt, 02.09.2021)

https://www.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/industrie/pharmabranche-opioid-epidemie-oxycontin-hersteller-familie-sackler-muss-milliarden-zahlen-/27574964.html

USA. In US-Opioid-Krise verwickelter Pharmakonzern Purdue wird zerschlagen

New York – Der US-Pharmakonzern Purdue Pharma wird im Zuge der Affäre um die massenhafte Verschreibung opiathaltiger Schmerzmittel zerschlagen. Ein Bundesrichter genehmigte gestern einen entsprechenden Insolvenzplan.

Die Unternehmerfamilie Sackler, die Purdue Pharma zu einem Großkonzern aufgebaut hatte, muss 4,5 Milliarden Dollar bezahlen, um die zahlreichen Klagen wegen des Verkaufs von Opioiden beizulegen. (aerzteblatt.de, 02.09.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/126908/In-US-Opioid-Krise-verwickelter-Pharmakonzern-Purdue-wird-zerschlagen

USA. Judge Conditionally Approves Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlement

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved with conditions a historic opioid settlement between Purdue Pharma and thousands of local and state governments. A federal bankruptcy judge gave conditional approval Wednesday to a sweeping settlement that will remove the Sackler family from ownership of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and devote potentially $10 billion to fighting the opioid crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades.

(US News, 01.09.2021)

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2021-09-01/judge-set-to-rule-on-purdue-pharmas-opioid-settlement-plan

Purdue Pharma - Alle Nachrichten und Informationen der F.A.Z. zum Thema 

USA. Purdue Pharma Is Dissolved and Sacklers Pay $4.5 Billion to Settle Opioid Claim

The ruling in bankruptcy court caps a long legal battle over the fate of a company accused of fueling the opioid epidemic and the family that owns it.

(…) Purdue Pharma, the maker of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, was dissolved on Wednesday in a wide-ranging bankruptcy settlement that will also require the company’s owners, members of the Sackler family, to turn over billions of their fortune to address the deadly opioid epidemic. (…)

The Sacklers’ payments will come from their investments and the sale of their international pharmaceutical companies, over seven years. Purdue will pay roughly $500 million. Anticipated profits from the new company’s drugs, including OxyContin, will provide additional funds. (New York Times, 01.09.2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/health/purdue-sacklers-opioids-settlement.html?referringSource=articleShare

USA. Alex Gibney's "The Crime of the Century" – Manufacturing The Opioid Crisis In America

Purdue Pharma hit the jackpot. The pharmaceutical company that gained notoriety over the last twenty years selling their opioid-based blockbuster drug OxyContin (OC) did what most highly organised drug cartels do: they got the American population addicted to pain relief, hooking them on high doses of opioids in order to “get their life back”. The only difference was that they did it with FDA approval. And on a much bigger scale. (Talking Drugs, UK, 25.08.2021)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/alex-gibney-crime-of-the-century-opioid-crisis-america

USA. Sackler family won’t settle unless off the hook from opioid suits, court told

US bankruptcy trustee, nine states and DC objecting to settlement plan because it would grant legal protection to Sacklers. (Guardian, UK, 17.08.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/17/sackler-family-purdue-pharma-settlement-opioid-lawsuits

USA. Ex-Head of Purdue Pharma Denies Responsibility for Opioid Crisis

The former president and board chair of Purdue Pharma told a court Wednesday that he, his family and the company are not responsible for the opioid crisis in the United States. (Medscape, 18.08.2021)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/956842

China Tobacco Goes Global

You’ve heard of Marlboro, Camel, and Lucky Strike, but what about Silver Elephant, Red Pagoda Mountain, and Double Happiness?

China National Tobacco Corporation is the world’s largest tobacco company, accounting for nearly half of global cigarette production. The secretive state-backed giant holds a virtual monopoly over China’s vast tobacco market, the world’s largest, selling more than Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, and Japan Tobacco International combined.

Unlike these traditional “Big Tobacco” companies, China Tobacco’s rapid rise has gone largely unremarked in much of the world. That is now starting to change as the company expands aggressively into new countries as part of Beijing’s controversial “Belt and Road” initiative.

Journalists from OCCRP and its partners on five continents spent months investigating the massive conglomerate and its dizzying array of subsidiaries and joint ventures. They discovered China Tobacco is using many of the same strategies Big Tobacco employed in the 1990s, flooding countries with cigarettes and working with smuggling networks that move them into Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Read on to learn more about the biggest tobacco company you’ve never heard of. (OCCRP - Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project, 22.06.2021)

https://www.occrp.org/en/loosetobacco/china-tobacco-goes-global/

USA. Addiction Treatment Advocates Express Concern About Opioid Settlement Deal

Addiction treatment advocates have concerns about the $26 billion settlement announced last week that ended lawsuits over the opioid crisis, Reuters reports. Advocates say the funds will arrive slowly and could be misspent. (Partnership to end Addiction, USA, Juli 2021)

https://drugfree.org/drug-and-alcohol-news/addiction-treatment-advocates-express-concern-about-opioid-settlement-deal

USA. Major drug companies reach landmark $26bn US opioid settlement

The deal is the second-largest cash settlement in United States history, trailing only the $246bn tobacco deal in 1998. (Al Jazeera, 21.07.2021)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/21/major-drug-distributors-reach-landmark-26-bn-us-opioid-settlement

Kanada. Calgary lawyer takes on Purdue Pharma to collect opioid-related costs for Canadian cities

Bankruptcy plan offers billions to U.S. states, cities and tribes but nothing to Canadian governments. (CBC-News, Kanada, 03.08.2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-lawyer-purdue-pharma-bankruptcy-plan-canada-1.6125144

USA. Was It 'Reasonable' To Ship 81 Million Opioid Pills To This Small West Virginia City?

The outcome of a landmark federal opioid trial in West Virginia that reached closing arguments this week rests on two legally thorny questions.

Was it "unreasonable" for three of America's biggest corporations — the drug wholesalers AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — to ship roughly 81 million highly addictive opioid pills to pharmacies in one small Rust Belt city on the Ohio River?

If that was a reckless thing to do, does the addiction crisis in Huntington and surrounding Cabell County, W.Va., amount to a "public nuisance" that the companies must help remedy?

The answers to those questions will now be decided by U.S. District Judge David Faber in Charleston, W.Va. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 30.07.2021)

https://www.npr.org/2021/07/30/1021676306/was-it-reasonable-to-ship-81-million-opioid-pills-to-this-small-west-virginia-ci

Philip Morris kauft Hersteller von Inhalatoren

London – Der US-Tabakkonzern Philip Morris will den britischen Hersteller von Inhalatoren, Vectura, kaufen. Philip Morris bietet 1,0 Milliarde Pfund (1,2 Milliarden Euro), teilten beide Unternehmen am vergangenen Freitag mit. (aerzteblatt.de, 12.07.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/125499/Philip-Morris-kauft-Hersteller-von-Inhalatoren

USA. J&J to stop selling opioids in US, reaches $230 mn settlement with New York

Johnson & Johnson, one of the pharmaceutical giants accused of fueling the deadly US opioid crisis, has reached a settlement with the state of New York for $230 million and confirmed it will stop making or selling opioids in the United States. (MedicalXpress, USA, 26.06.2021)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-jj-opioids-mn-settlement-york.html

USA. Opioidvergleich: US-Pharmakonzerne akzeptieren milliardenschwere Zahlungen

New York – In einem wichtigen US-Prozess um süchtig machende Schmerzmittel haben drei Arzneimittelgroßhändler einen milliardenschweren Vergleich mit dem Bundesstaat New York akzeptiert. (aerzteblatt.de, 21.07.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/125739/Opioidvergleich-US-Pharmakonzerne-akzeptieren-milliardenschwere-Zahlungen

USA. The Origins of the Opioid Epidemic with “Empire of Pain” Author, Patrick Radden Keefe (Podcast)

Bestselling author and investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe discusses his latest book, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty on our podcast Heart of the Matter with Elizabeth Vargas. 

In his book, Patrick tells the story of the family responsible for setting into motion the opioid epidemic. Following his recent testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform about the Sackler family, Patrick joins Elizabeth to discuss the “Don Draper of medical advertising,” how one family created a massive addiction crisis, and what is in store for the Sacklers, who now face numerous lawsuits. (Heart oft he Matter, USA, Juni 2021, transcript and podcast, 47:11)

https://drugfree.org/article/heart-of-the-matter-guest-patrick-radden-keefe/

USA. Purdue Pharma Exit Plan Gains Steam With OK From More States

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma's plan to reorganize into a new entity that helps combat the U.S. opioid epidemic got a big boost as 15 states that had previously opposed the new business model now support it. (AP – Associated Press, USA, 08.07.2021)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/954404

USA. Major Trial Against Opioid Suppliers Begins in New York

New York’s sweeping lawsuit is the first opioid case in which a jury rather than a judge will decide the outcome. (New York Times, 08.07.2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/29/nyregion/opioids-in-new-york.html