Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton secured a $350 million national settlement with Publicis Health to resolve investigations into the global marketing and communications firm’s role in the prescription opioid crisis. The State of Texas will receive approximately $21 million.
Publicis worked with Purdue Pharma and other large pharmaceutical corporations to push highly addictive opioids, such as OxyContin, through sales tactics that included exploiting medical data obtained from recordings of in-office discussions between doctors and patients. These actions contributed to an epidemic of opioid addiction and deaths in Texas, which has resulted in more than 22,600 deaths in the state since 2006. Opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose not only create incalculable suffering for families and communities, but additionally result in significant strain on Texas’s health care, child welfare, and criminal justice systems.
“My heart is with our Texas families who have suffered from the fallout of the opioid epidemic. I have relentlessly sought accountability for companies that conspired with the pharmaceutical industry to unethically promote dangerously addictive prescription drugs,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I will continue to do everything in my power to bring these companies to justice for the harm they created.”
The settlement is the latest in a series of agreements Attorney General Paxton has negotiated to hold the drug industry accountable for worsening the national prescription opioid crisis. To date, Attorney General Paxton has obtained over $2.98 billion in legal settlements with drug manufacturers and others for their roles in the crisis. Funds from statewide opioid settlements are dedicated to opioid abatement and overseen by the Texas Opioid Council.
To read the filing, click here.