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Connecticut leaders and treatment centers react to Supreme Court rejection of Big Pharma settlement

Connecticut leaders and treatment centers react to Supreme Court rejection of Big Pharma settlement

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — The Supreme Court has thrown out a nationwide settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma that would have shielded members of the Sackler family, who own the company, from civil lawsuits related to the opioid tax.

The settlement would also have provided billions of dollars to fight the opioid epidemic.

Doug Schumann, who is part of the class action lawsuit, says he feels “appalled and left out in the cold” that he won’t receive any money from the now-defunct settlement.

Schumann struggled with an opioid for several years after being diagnosed with pancreatic disease.

“It’s ridiculous that all these people have suffered because of these people pushing this drug on everyone and I was looking forward to getting some money from them,” he said.

This decision also affects treatment clinics, such as the Root Center for Advanced Recovery, which serves 6,000 patients struggling with addiction nationwide.

“We see a lot of barriers and challenges with the mental health and substance use population as it is, day in and day out,” said Chief Operating Officer Ashley Hickey. “To hear that there’s still going to be a barrier and a challenge in another area that could have been a huge support for some of our patients and families and loved ones is very disheartening to hear and see.”

But it’s far from daunting for Christine Gagnon of the Connecticut Opioid Regulatory Board. Gagnon lost her 22-year-old son, Michael, in 2017 to opioids. She says the decision puts the blame on the Sackler family.

“Now they will have to face the music in person,” she said. “If they were willing to give $6 billion and make sure they’re protected, there’s more money out there.”

“While I understand how the money promised to the Sacklers if their bankruptcy is approved could be helpful, I also believe there is a larger message here for all corporations in America who are putting themselves above evil on which sometimes do to the ordinary citizen. ,” John Lalley, who runs the advocacy group Today I Am, said.

Senator Richard Blumenthal went on to say the Sacklers were “directly to blame” for the delay in compensation.

“Under the Sacklers, Purdue Pharma destroyed lives and devastated communities,” Blumenthal said. “The clear fact is that these victims are in dire need of justice as soon as possible, and it is my hope that their long-awaited and deeply deserved just remedies will be provided as soon as possible.”