Purdue Pharma and the Oxycontin Crisis

Incorporation is intended, in many ways, to place a sort of barrier between a business and the people behind it. The corporation, generally, is the one that owns the property it sits on, signs contracts, owes debts, and is legally liable for its conduct (and the conduct of employees). The owners of a company (whether that be a single person or thousands of shareholders) are not the ones who own the building or owe the debts. It’s a useful mechanism, one that exists in literally every modern economy, because without corporations modern business would literally be impossible. But the result is often something many find frustrating: when things go bad — when the company does something bad — it can be hard to find someone to hold responsible. But in the case below, the Massachusetts attorney general is prepared to point fingers in a very direct way.


LINK: Family behind OxyContin maker engineered opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says (from CBS News)

The Massachusetts attorney general is targeting Purdue Pharma and eight members of the Sackler family who own the company, alleging in a lawsuit they are “personally responsible” for deceptively selling OxyContin.

The attorney general, Maura Healey, sat down with “CBS This Morning.” She alleges the Sackler family hired “hundreds of workers to carry out their wishes” – pushing doctors to get “more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before” all while paying “themselves billions of dollars.”

In her lawsuit, Healey names eight members of the family that own Purdue Pharma, alleging they “micromanaged” a “deceptive sales campaign.” In the conclusion to the complaint, Healey said the Sackler family used the power at their disposal to engineer an opioid crisis. Almost 400,000 people died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2017, according to the CDC….

What do you think?

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  1. Pingback: CEE Review: Are top CEOs underpaid? | Free trade vs. protectionism in medieval England, and more » Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship

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