Statement from Margarida Jorge on the Trump Administration’s settlement with Purdue Pharma:
“This settlement is a betrayal to the families of the more than 750,000 Americans who have lost their lives due to the opioid epidemic and countless others whose lives have been shattered by addiction. According to this settlement, not one of Purdue Pharma’s top executives has yet been held criminally liable for their role in the opioid epidemic. And thanks to Trump’s Justice Department, the Sacklers will still come out ahead, with the fine making up only a fraction of the profit one of the country’s richest families made from peddling poison to Americans in pain.
From rampant price-gouging, to profiteering during the COVID pandemic, we all know Big Pharma cares more about their profits than our health and well-being. We have a right to expect more of the nation’s top elected leader, but despite years of lip service and promises to address the opioid crisis, President Trump has delivered nothing that either addresses the harm caused by these drug corporations or that prevents them from doing the exact same thing in the future. Whether we’re talking about opioids or HIV or now COVID, Trump’s track record when it comes to epidemics and public health is a litany of lip service, broken promises and fake outrage–not meaningful action.
The Trump administration’s settlement is not about justice and remedy for the families who lost loved ones or recompense for the billions wasted on public safety, incarceration, treatment and public services caused by the opioid crisis. It’s about letting Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers off the hook for the decades they spent marketing OxyContin, downplaying the drug’s addictiveness, and working with other industry giants like Johnson & Johnson to cash in.
President Trump has never been interested in holding Big Pharma accountable, and this settlement is yet another example of his preference for showy PR stunts over meaningful action. Rather than do his job by leveraging the power of the government to watchdog and rein in pharmaceutical corporations, he’s protecting their interests and paving the way for profits at the clear expense of American lives.”