That is the collective nickname for the pharmaceutical companies that make Opioids, the legal but increasingly marginalized medicines that Americans once loved, but now hate.
One pharmaceutical company of note, Sanofi, is not named in any the hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed at various levels of American government, including federal, state, local and tribal entities.
Still, the drama is unfolding and it seems clear that permitting its products to be sold in the United States could yet expose Sanofi to prosecution – but it is not part of the Oklahoma litigation. Still, remember this figure: $25,000.
There are six other companies thus far missing from action brought by our state against major pharmaceutical firms.
McKesson Corporation was named by the Cherokee Nation in its lawsuit patterned on various state lawsuits. McKesson is also a star player in suits filed in Ohio, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Delaware, Florida and Kentucky. Although the company’s distribution network includes the Sooner State, it was not included in the lawsuit hereabouts. You must remember this: $25,000.
AbbVie, another Big Pharma entity, is a party in the Ohio consolidated federal case against Opioid producers, but is not named in the Oklahoma case. So, remember this: $25,000.
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals is named in the Missouri, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Illinois litigation. In fact, it is involved in 281 suits. The company recently settled a demand from the U.S. Department of Justice for $35 million. Ouch – but they are not named in Oklahoma’s lawsuit. So, keep this figure in mind: $10,000.
Smaller fry unfettered by concerns over Oklahoma litigation include:
* Express Scripts received a demand letter from 16 state attorneys general – but Oklahoma’s A.G. declined to join in. Could a mere $500 procure peace?
To put a fine point on this, all seven of these entities share an important, perhaps in some quarters dispositive, attribute.
RAGA has not eased up – the spending total for the runoff is another $700,000, according to available federal and state filings. The total RAGA expenditure is $1.2 million to date.
The GOP runoff is scheduled to conclude around the state on Tuesday, August 28, with early voting at county election boards commencing in just a few days.
Mike Hunter is the appointed incumbent.
His opponent is Gentner Drummond.
NOTE: In the photograph accompanying this story, Pat McGuigan is pictured, at the right, during an “Oklahoma Forum” segment for “The Oklahoma Network” earlier in this decade. Photo Credit: OETA.