DOJ Reaches $8 Billion Settlement with Purdue Pharma

Funds should be directed to evidence-based countermeasures included in the NSC National Plan to Address Opioid Misuse.

October 26, 2020

Itasca, IL – Those who have enabled the easy distribution of prescription opioids should be held accountable, which happened Oct. 21 when the Department of Justice reached a settlement with Purdue Pharma for $8 billion. While this settlement is just a drop in the bucket compared to the impact of this epidemic on Americans, there is opportunity to create positive change from it.

The National Safety Council calls on the company created by this settlement to direct funds to evidence-based countermeasures included in the comprehensive National Plan to Address Opioid Misuse. The recommendations in this plan take into account the many factors, systems and players that have a role in the lifecycle of addiction – from prevention to recovery, from education to the criminal justice system, from prescribers to employers.

It is no secret that an over marketing of highly addictive medications, such as OxyContin, has fueled the opioid crisis. Opioid overdose fatalities have risen to the point that for the first time ever, a person is more likely to die from accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash. We cannot tolerate this loss of life any longer.

NSC urges the settlement company to adopt the plan in full and to detail the following to the American people:

  • How the company will work with lawmakers on a pandemic response plan that addresses the consequences of increasing opioid use disorder (OUD) rates
  • How the company will help employers as they work to prevent opioid misuse and support employees in treatment and recovery
  • How the company will increase services to underserved and vulnerable populations who have increased risks of developing a substance use disorder and more difficulty accessing treatment and recovery support services

To view the National Plan to Address Opioid Misuse, visit nsc.org/presidentialplan.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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