Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that the state will receive about $5.5 million as part of a new $350 million nationwide settlement to help address the opioid crisis afflicting the state.
According to Marshall’s office, the settlement was reached after Publicis Health, a multinational marketing and communications organization that collaborated with multiple opioid-related businesses, acknowledged that its actions had harmed the public.
The corporation will also make thousands of internal documents about its collaboration with opioid companies like Purdue Pharma publicly available on websites as part of the settlement. Furthermore, it will no longer take on client work involving Schedule II or any Schedule III prohibited medications that are based on opioids.
Marshall stated, “Alabama is steadfast in our comprehensive endeavor to hold all contributors—manufacturing, distribution, prescription, or marketing—for their role in the opioid epidemic.” Publicity was crucial in the promotion of these medications, which inadvertently led to overprescribing, addiction, and the terrible loss of many lives.
“Our determination to put an end to this epidemic is unwavering, and we will stop at nothing to bring Alabama back from the severe social damage brought about by the coordinated efforts of the opioid industry and its allies.”
Documents filed in the Montgomery County Circuit Court detail how Publicis’ assistance with Purdue Pharma and other opioid producers in their marketing and sales of opioids led to the epidemic. Court records also describe how Publicis served as Purdue’s agency of record for all of its branded opioid medications, including OxyContin.
Publicis even devised sales strategies that depended on data mining of patient-provider talks recorded in-office regarding personal health. stated Marshall. Purdue’s choice to market OxyContin to physicians based on patient’s electronic health records was also heavily influenced by the business.
According to Marshall, the state has paid more than $500 million in settlements to pharmaceutical corporations and other connected businesses for their roles in the disaster.