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State AGs Taking Opioid Money While Negotiating Settlements

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

opioid settlement

Story at-a-glance -

  • Both the Republican and Democratic attorneys general associations take donations from drug makers and marketers who are defendants in state opioid litigation
  • Among attorneys general associations donors are Johnson & Johnson, CVS and the powerful drug industry's lobby arm PhRMA
  • The billionaire Sackler family turned its opioid OxyContin into a blockbuster drug through its company Purdue Pharma
  • The Sackler family also contributed to the benzodiazepine epidemic which, like opioids, causes many deaths
  • Some fear opioid settlements will mirror the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in which only 3.5 percent of funds went to tobacco control
  • State attorneys general are fighting opioid settlements that would compensate cities, counties and Native American communities

Imagine that you are a corporation facing lawsuits from a product you make or market that is under investigation for harming the public health. Imagine that for several thousand dollars you could gain access to the very attorneys general who will decide to pursue lawsuits against you. That is exactly the case right now with both the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) and it is perfectly legal.

When lobbyists for such corporations want to donate to the associations that fund attorneys general (AG) political campaigns, and in so doing gain greater access to the AGs, they can readily do so.


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