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Tufts University to Review Relationship With Opioid Company After Legal Troubles

Tufts University to Review Relationship With Opioid Company After Legal Troubles

“the university has been and remains deeply committed to the highest ethical and scientific standards”

Purdue Pharma funded a degree program at Tufts but is now in the hot seat over accusations that the owners knew their product was causing overdoses.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

‘Deeply Troubling’ Allegations

Tufts University will review its connection to OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma in the wake of court documents filed last week detailing explosive allegations about the company, the mega-donors that own it and their alleged influence over the university’s medical school.

The court filing from Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey alleges that members of the Sackler family knew the opioid was causing overdoses and were involved in efforts to mislead doctors and the public about the powerful painkiller’s effects. They did not tell authorities about reports the drug was being abused and peddled on the street, it says.

One member of the family, Richard Sackler, wanted to blame abusers, writing in a 2001 email that abusers “are the culprits and the problem” and that they “are reckless criminals,” the filing claims.

The filing alleges that Purdue funded “an entire degree program at Tufts University to influence Massachusetts doctors to use its drugs.” Purdue sponsored an annual “Sackler Lecture” at Tufts on pain medicine, and Richard Sackler for many years held a seat on the school of medicine’s board, it alleges. (Purdue Pharma is unrelated to the university in Indiana.)

A Tufts spokesman, Patrick Collins, issued a statement Friday saying that the university has been and remains deeply committed to the highest ethical and scientific standards.

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Comments

A pharmaceutical doesn’t “cause” overdoses any more than a bank “causes” robberies, or scientific agriculture “causes” obesity, or electric lights “cause” insomnia.

MA has had a recent string of unusually awful AGs. Any allegation from Healey is automatic grounds for suspicion, far above and beyond the usual.

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