Tiny State Takes on Pharma Giant, Plans to Win

Rhode Island – home to a major Oxycodone maker — is suing parent company

| Rhode Island [the state known for seafood, organized crime, and New England accents – thus “lobstahs and mobstahs”] is one of a number of states suing Purdue Pharma, the inventor of Oxycontin, for what Attorney Generals are alleging in the lawsuit was intentionally running false marketing campaigns and helping to push the misuse of the killer drug.

And, little known to most, Rhode Island is home to one of the world’s largest oxycodone manufacturing plants — and the company’s marketing functions.

Bloomberg has reported the ownership relationship between Purdue Pharma and RI-based Rhodes Technology and its related marketing company.

Rhodes is a subsidiary to Purdue, the company owned by the infamous Sackler family — the billionaire family whose patriarch invented oxycontin and is now facing criticism and legal actions across the country for pushing the drug — often described as “heroin in a pill.”

A Financial Times analysis of company registration documents also established that the family also owns Rhodes Pharma, “a little-known Rhode Island-based drugmaker that is among the largest producers of off-patent generic opioids in the US.”

The Financial Times reports, “Rhodes and Purdue combined accounted for 14.4m opioid prescriptions in 2016, according to figures seen by the FT, giving them a total share of 6 percent of the US opioid market.”

Between 2001 and 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in the United States increased by 345%, from 9,489 to 42,245 deaths. The numbers continue to explode.

“Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths,” according to the New York Times.

And tucked away in Coventry, Rhode Island, along a country road, is Rhodes Technology — surrounded by massive security … Full story.

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