Leading by Example
This honorable place will be occupied by the next politician to publicly refuse or donate to charity any campaign contribution they receive from a pharmaceutical company
Artist and activist Nan Goldin founded the group Sackler P.A.I.N. and has led large-scale protests against the acceptance of Sackler donations. Noting the growing cultural disinterest around the Sackler scandal, she launched OxyJustice.org to help individuals file claims and raise awareness about the crisis. In the wake of the COVID crisis, which has made organizing more difficult, she continues to launch petitions and bring information to the population.
Gerald Posner and legal academic Ralph Brubaker penned a July op-ed in the New York Times, taking Drain to task and alerting the public that the Sacklers “could get away with it.”
Naturally, Judge Drain did not take kindly to the expose. In open court (recorded in legal transcripts obtained for Law and Crime) he hurled insults—“misinformed,” “idiot,” “numbskull,” “irresponsible,” “clickbait,” “trash”—at the writers and even insinuated he wished he could “muzzle” our First Amendment-guaranteed free press. Posner and Brubaker’s display of integrity is a breath of fresh air in this climate of complicity—we commend them as our heroes.
The Committee of Unsecured Creditors the Sacklers
On September 26, 2019, the United States Trustee for Region 2 appointed nine creditors to the Committee of Unsecured Creditors for the Purdue bankruptcy case. The committee is comprised by:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, a healthcare company seeking repayment for its members’ medical bills and pharmaceutical costs caused by Purdue Pharma.
CVS CareMark Part D Services LLC and CaremarkPCS Health, a former business partner of Purdue to whom rebates are owed for Purdue products.
Ryan Hampton, a former addict and current activist who founded the Voices Project.
Cheryl Juaire, founder of the support group Team Sharing, who lost a son to overdose.
LTS Lohmann Therapy Systems, Co., a former business partner of Purdue and developer of drug delivery systems, with outstanding contract costs from Purdue.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Co., the government pension agency, which represents the unliquidated claims of its insured constituents’ pension plans.
Walter Lee Salmons, the grandfather of two children born with NAS, who aims to establish a medical program for children born addicted.
Kara Trainor, the mother of a disabled son born with NAS.
West Boca Medical Center, who filed action alleging Purdue’s RICO violations, deceptive advertising, negligence, and other breaches.
CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
President of CVS Caremark
Founder of the Voices Project.
Founder of the support group Team Sharing.
CEO of LTS Lohmann.
Director Pension Benefit Guaranty CO.
Creditors’ committees do not usually include private citizens, writes the Daily Herald, but this one has four. Yet one worries that four may not be enough, as business interests still dominate the committee—which has pushed for acceptance of the settlement.
The committee has come out in support of Drain’s unethical move to pause litigation against the Sackler family, indicating that it would accept in exchange $200 million from Purdue Pharma toward fighting opioid addiction.
The survivors’ motivation is clear: securing an immediate $200 million to be used for opioid relief. What are the motivations of Serota, Lotvin, and Doles? Do they genuinely believe the settlement is the only way forward—or have they agreed to it in order to pocket a bigger chunk of change for their own companies? CareMark and LTS are former business partners of Purdue Pharma, rather than representatives of the lives the pharmaceutical company has taken. They are likely looking to make up their own losses.