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New Opioid Settlement Brings $8 Million to Massachusetts

By Tom Marino | February 2, 2024
Last Updated: February 2, 2024

BOSTON – Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced a $350 million national settlement with Publicis Health, $8 million of which Massachusetts will receive. The settlement resolves Massachusetts’ litigation against the firm for its involvement in the opioid crisis, including its work with Purdue Pharma.

The funds will support the state’s Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund, aiding opioid misuse prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction in Massachusetts. Publicis Health is also required to disclose internal documents related to its opioid work and will stop accepting client work related to opioid or other opioid-based Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substances.

“For years, Publicis Health’s marketing schemes helped fuel the nationwide opioid crisis, which has shattered some of our most vulnerable communities, while creating significant financial strain on our state systems,” said AG Campbell. “I am proud of my team’s national leadership in securing this settlement, which will not only bolster accountability and transparency for this ongoing crisis but will also provide millions of dollars for much needed treatment and services to support individuals and families across Massachusetts.”

In the complaint filed in 2021 against Publicis Health, a subsidiary of global advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe, the state alleged the receiving over $50 million for marketing strategies for Purdue Pharma that increased opioid prescriptions, contributing to the crisis which has resulted in over 20,000 deaths in Massachusetts.

The settlement is part of a multistate investigation, with Massachusetts playing a pivotal role. The AG’s Health Care Division managed the case.

Campbell also announced a settlement with opioid manufacturer Hikma Pharmaceuticals. This settlement, negotiated with attorneys general from New York, California, Delaware, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia, requires Hikma to pay $150 million, including $35 million in opioid addition treatment medication.

According to the AG’s office, Massachusetts has reached legal settlements with opioid manufacturers and others that will return more than $1 billion to the state and local communities.

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