NEVER PRISON FOR KILLER BILLIONAIRES –
by Ryan Hampton
Sept. 11, 2021 – During negotiations, I often asked: Why couldn’t we just eliminate the nonbankrupt Sacklers from the process? I believe this would have allowed litigation against them to resume. It also would have allowed victims to be compensated entirely from the new, restructured company — the same funding source from which states were set to receive the majority of their settlement. To this day, my question remains unanswered. In my opinion, this option would have eradicated the releases issue, protected compensation for victims and given states and victims the opportunity to have their day in court with the Sacklers, with the potential to recover more Sackler money through individual lawsuits.
Since resigning from the committee on Aug. 31, I am able to speak more freely about my experience. My view on the final chapter of Purdue is that money, not justice, won the day. Victims’ representatives were outnumbered in the process from the beginning: by corporations, by lawyers and by governments.
Many government institutions, previously unwilling to act as a watchdog on Big Pharma, were equally unwilling to treat some of our most vulnerable citizens with the dignity they deserved. Rising overdose rates, difficulty in accessing addiction treatment and recovery support services, lax enforcement of parity violations by insurance companies and government crackdowns on people who use drugs tell you all you need to know about the effectiveness of the status quo.
Companies like Purdue and families like the Sacklers should never find refuge in bankruptcy court.