An FDA official who led the approval of OxyContin got a $400,000 gig at Purdue Pharma a year later, a new book reveals

“Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radden Keefe Doubleday

  • An FDA director who oversaw the approval of OxyContin got a $400Okay gig at Purdue Pharma a year later.

  • A new book by Patrick Radden Keefe reported on these claims and on the billionaire Sackler household.

  • A Sackler household lawyer informed Insider Keefe refused to fulfill with them throughout his reporting course of.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The US regulator who oversaw the approval of the highly-addictive opioid OxyContin got a six-figure gig at the drug’s producer a year later, a new book claims.

Curtis Wright, as soon as a director at the US Food and Drug Administration who oversaw analysis for ache treatment, got a place with a first-year compensation package deal of $400,000 at Purdue Pharma a year after he led the approval of OxyContin, in response to the book “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radden Keefe.

Purdue Pharma’s sale of OxyContin, a formulation of the narcotic oxycodone that was stated to decelerate the launch of the sturdy painkiller when taken as prescribed, has been related to the rise of the opioid disaster, in response to a trillion-dollar lawsuit filed by nearly all US states.

OxyContin was the “most prescribed brand name narcotic medication” for treating average to extreme ache by 2001, in response to a report by the US Government Accountability Office. Deaths from prescription opioid overdose quadrupled between 1999 to 2019, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 247,000 deaths from prescription opioid overdose over the final 20 years.

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Keefe’s book explores the lives of the billionaire Sackler household who based Purdue Pharma and profited off of the sale of OxyContin. Forbes estimates the Sackler family’s net worth at $10.eight billion, as of December 2020.

“This author has refused to correct errors in his past reporting and also blatantly violated journalistic ethics by refusing to meet with representatives for the Sackler family during the reporting of his book,” Daniel S. Connolly, an legal professional for the Raymond Sackler household, stated in a assertion to Insider. “Documents being released in Purdue’s bankruptcy now demonstrate that Sackler family members who served on Purdue’s board of directors acted ethically and lawfully.”

The FDA approved OxyContin in December 1995, initially believing the controlled-release formulation of OxyContin would lead to “less abuse potential,” in response to the company’s web site. The company amended the label in 2001, giving OxyContin a “black box” warning it provides on drug with the highest possible abuse potential, per the FDA website.

Keefe wrote Wright had confessed in a sworn deposition that he “might” have written the portion of the FDA package deal insert that stated OxyContin was “believed to reduce the abuse liability of the drug.” Keefe added that Wright would instruct Purdue Pharma to mail him paperwork at his dwelling workplace, and carried out evaluations of medical research stories concerning the security of OxyContin with the assist of Purdue Pharma workers.

After Wright left the FDA he spent a year at one other firm earlier than becoming a member of Purdue, in response to the book.

“That was sufficient as a cooling-off period, apparently, to allay any concerns that Richard Sackler might have had about the appearance of a conflict of interest,” Keefe wrote.

Purdue Pharma didn’t have extra remark so as to add. The FDA declined to remark.

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