Maine Attorney General (AG) Aaron Frey announced Friday that a coalition of AGs had reached a settlement with multinational marketing firm, Publicis Health, for its role in the national prescription opioid crisis.
“Publicis worked to ensure that Purdue’s products ended up in more hands, addicting more of our citizens,” said AG Frey. “It made money off the opioid crisis we now face, and we are holding them accountable to pay for these harms.”
The lawsuit was brought against Publicis by Colorado AG Phil Weiser, aided by the AGs of all 50 states, for the company’s role in marketing Purdue Pharma’s prescription opioid drugs, particularly OxyContin.
According to court documents, Publicis used sales tactics that relied on “farming” data from recorded conversations of private in-office patient-doctor conversations.
The national settlement resulted in Publicis paying $350 Million total to help fight against the opioid crisis.
The money was divided up among states based on the severity of their opioid crises, with Maine receiving over $1.8 Million.
The settlement also required Publicis to make all records regarding its work for Purdue Pharma, and any other opioid companies, public.
The settlement also barred Publicis from taking on any contracts related to Schedule II or III controlled opioid substances.
According to Frey’s report, following this new settlement, Maine has now received $34 Million in settlements from companies involved in the opioid crisis.