Massachusetts says Purdue's profits from a single opioid addict were $200,000

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Suing Purdue? But this is how the Capitalist system is SUPPOSED to work! Waddar these “Commonwealth of Massachusetts” guys, freakin’ Commies?!

Robert Evans, creator of the brilliant/chilling “It Could Happen Here” podcast, pointed to the Sackler-created opioid crisis as one of the issues facing our nation where Liberals and Conservatives should still be able to find common cause.

Because if “fuck those guys who became billionaires by knowingly pushing a dangerous, highly addictive drug that had already destroyed countless communities and claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives” isn’t a message that people across the political spectrum can still get behind, nothing is.


How is this possible? That number seems spurious. Back in my partying days in the late 90s - early aughts, I admit to having enjoyed taking oxycontin recreationally. They were about $25 each, street value, in Boston. Again circa 1999-2000. That would come out to 8,000 pills, or 21 pills per day every day, to make $200,000 over a year. And that’s the money that would go to the street dealer, after all the middlemen. The amount going to the pharma company would be lower since the price was obviously marked up each time the pills changed hands. So, again, I call bullshit on this number.


When your company makes profits in Massachusetts, you get to keep them. However, you then argue that you’re not liable for crimes committed by your company in Massachusetts? Mitt Romney was wrong when he said, “corporations are people, my friend.” They have far more rights than any person, and far less liability for crimes committed.


If an addict took three $25 pills a day then they’d reach the $200K mark in about 7 years. A quick Google search suggests that the street price of the drug is now up to $50-$80 a pill, meaning an addict could spend that much in about 3 years.

You’re correct of course that the company wouldn’t be getting all that money, but it seems plausible that at least some addicts could bring in that kind of money for Purdue over the course of a lifetime.


More like 13 years at one $80 pill per day every single day, and that’s for just 100% markup. Which is still spurious.

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You think hardcore addicts are only taking one pill a day?

Your experience with Oxy sounds like it was purely recreational, not a life-destroying addiction. Hundreds of thousands of others have not been as lucky.


Not for politicians who serve profit instead of people, which is most of them, in both parties.

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“Your experience with Oxy sounds like it was purely recreational”

Yes, I said so explicitly in my original comment.

I also am aware that addicts consume more than what I was taking. And I am not arguing that pharma companies aren’t profiting from this addiction. I’m saying this number seems inflated. The math simply doesn’t add up.

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I’m not talking about the politicians. I’m talking about American citizens from across the political spectrum. Kicking the politicians into action on this could be one of the common causes we desperately need right now if we’re going to avoid a goddamn civil war.


I would want to see the numbers, too, but if they’re anywhere near accurate they have to be taking into account the health care markup. Purdue wasn’t selling Oxycontin on the street; they were selling it through doctors and so-called pain clinics and in at least some cases some of the cost would have been subsidized by health care providers.

Look at the price of insulin or an epi-pen in the US these days.


@Brainspore, @MotoGuzzi

Some addicts engage in doctor shopping. Some engage in prescription fraud. There are sources more accessible/reliable than the street if you’re a bit well off.


Exactly. The amount they make per pill is much smaller. By the time an addict pays $80 for a pill, it’s been marked up many times over. Those hundreds of thousands of dollars are largely going to crooked doctors, pharmacists and dealers.


It was also likely marked down by taxpayers and healthcare providers subsidizing the cost of prescription medication before it ended up on the street. Purdue is making money off all of us.


No doubt. I’m very curious to know what their wholesale per-pill profit is, also accounting for the amount they give away for free as samples to doctors. That would go a long way towards figuring out how accurate this claim is.

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Someone I vaguely know (I know his brother and father fir other reasons) is doing fifteen years for manufacturing (I’m not sure what that entails).and selling a certain type of the opioid. There were multiple charges that fell away, including two that carried life.

This wasn’t making LSD, something Owesley only got a few years for. I keep seeing all the deaths from the drug, and I can’t believe he was that stupid, but I see some reasons, maybe a perceived need for money despite the affect on other people.

He’s had his adventures, includong going to Afghanistan soon after 9/11 as a “journalist” and getting kidnapped by the Taliban, but nothing that could hurt others like this.

I am sad that hes lost his freedom, it must be hard for him, but the crime couldn’t be ignored.

I haven’t seen his father or brother since he plead guilty last year, it must be hard for his father.


Based on some legal retail pricing I’ve seen online recently ($270 for 60 10mg tabs), and the fact that just producing a developed drug is mere pennies (excluding development costs etc.), I wouldn’t be surprised if an 80mg tab delivers $30 profit for Purdue. That works out to 18 pills a day. We can expect the $200k is an extreme example and no doubt 18 tabs a day is an insane amount. But let’s remember that abusers crush tablets and somehow intake all the active ingredient at once, bypassing the time release mechanism.

Additionally, regular abusers develop an extreme tolerance to the drug, necessitating greatly increasing doses to achieve the same effect. There is no upper limit to this tolerance. 18 tabs a day is conceivable for a long time, regular abuser. I don’t question the amount so much as how a regular abuser can procure that much revenue to support their habit. Crime obviously. But crime still takes work. I don’t see someone on that much Oxy working hard enough to steal or deal that much.

So I question the $200k amount not on the quantity of drug involved but on the procurement ability of an addict.


That addict is Making America Great Again by buying American! It may be unpatriotic to suggest that this is a bad thing.

Cerrtainly, you could argue that Purdue Pharma is liable. The question is whether the shareholders themselves are liable. And that depends on whether they personally directed Purdue Pharma to engage in the conduct at issue.