(BOISE) – Thursday, Attorney General Raúl Labrador announced a $350 million national settlement with Publicis Health to resolve investigations into the global marketing and communications firm’s role in the prescription opioid crisis. Idaho will receive nearly $1.6 million from the settlement to help address the opioid crisis.
“The opioid crisis has been a national tragedy of greed and exploitation on stunning levels,” said Attorney General Labrador. “We have watched addiction tighten its grip on our citizens, while companies turn a blind eye to the misery they have manufactured, with the single-minded ruthlessness of any drug cartel. This settlement will never put those lost lives back together, but hopefully we can avoid future addiction with wise investments in prevention and treatment.”
In agreeing to the terms of the settlement, Publicis recognized the harm its conduct caused, and the agreement will give communities hit hardest by the opioid crisis more financial support for treatment and recovery, building lasting infrastructure, and saving lives. The company will also disclose on a public website thousands of internal documents detailing its work for opioid companies like Purdue Pharma and will stop accepting client work related to opioid-based Schedule II or other Schedule II narcotics.
Thursday’s filing in Ada County District Court describes how Publicis’ work contributed to the crisis by helping Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers market and sell opioids. Court documents detail how Publicis acted as Purdue’s agency of record for all its branded opioid drugs, including OxyContin, even developing sales tactics that relied on farming data from recordings of personal health-related in-office conversations between patients and providers. The company was also instrumental in Purdue’s decision to market OxyContin to providers on patient’s electronic health records.
According to the Governor’s Office of Drug Policy, more than 934 Idahoans have died from a prescription opioid overdose between 2018 and 2022. These deaths—and the impacts on thousands who have struggled with opioid addiction—have created considerable costs for our health care, child welfare, and criminal justice systems. More significant than just the economic damage to our state, the impact on opioid addiction, substance use, and overdose deaths have torn families apart, damaged relationships, and devastated communities.
This settlement is the latest action Attorney General Labrador has taken to combat the opioid crisis and to hold accountable those responsible for creating and fueling the crisis. To date, Idaho has received almost $14.6 million in legal settlements with drug manufacturers and others for their roles in the crisis. Information about Idaho’s distributions, as well as those of its counties, cities, and health districts, is available on the Attorney General’s Opioid Settlement webpage.
Colorado led the multistate group during this investigation and was joined on an executive committee by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont. They are joined by the attorneys general from all states, territories, and the District of Columbia.