Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall revealed on Thursday that Alabama is set to receive a share of a nationwide opioid settlement.
The office of Marshall announced that the state is set to receive approximately $5.5 million from a $350 million settlement with Publicis Health, a multinational marketing firm. This settlement aims to address the investigations into the firm’s involvement in the prescription opioid crisis on a global scale.
“Alabama remains unwavering in our multifaceted effort to hold all contributors – manufacturing, distribution, prescription, or marketing—for their part in the opioid epidemic. Publicis played a pivotal role in promoting these drugs, contributing to overprescribing, fostering addiction, and tragically resulting in numerous lives lost,” stated Attorney General Marshall.
The funds aim to assist in tackling the opioid crisis. As per the settlement agreement, the AG’s office stated that Publicis acknowledged the negative impact of its actions.
Court documents reveal the extent of Publicis’ involvement as Purdue’s agency of record for their branded opioid drugs, such as OxyContin. They were responsible for developing sales tactics that utilized data from recordings of personal health-related conversations between patients and providers. The company played a significant role in Purdue’s decision to promote OxyContin to healthcare providers through patients’ electronic health records.
In a move towards transparency, the company plans to make thousands of internal documents available on a public website. These documents will shed light on its involvement with opioid companies such as Purdue Pharma. Additionally, the company has decided to no longer accept client work that is associated with opioid-based Schedule II or other Schedule III controlled substances.
The office of Marshall has announced that the funds from the settlement will be distributed among various entities, such as the State, local governments, public hospitals, and county health departments. There are strict guidelines in place for the use of settlement funds, ensuring that they are directed towards addressing the opioid crisis in Alabama.