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Opioid crisis expert reacts to DOJ settlement with Purdue Pharma

Journalist and author Beth Macy reacted to the Department of Justice’s more than $8 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, saying many affected by the opioid crisis were “very cynical about it.”

Macy said she was in a syringe exchange in North Carolina with those who help drug users when she learned the OxyContin maker reached a settlement with the government last week. 

 “They were very cynical about it,” she said. “They’ve seen basically no leadership out of the Trump administration, no coordinated leadership to contain the opioid crisis, and then in COVID[-19], it’s just getting worse.”

She noted that some communities are struggling with 30 percent more overdoses amid the pandemic.  

“A lot of the families who lost sons and daughters point to the timing as just being really political so that Trump’s DOJ can help him declare a political win two weeks before the election,” she said. 

 “They don’t really think justice is served,” she added. “And as many people have said, until they lose their wealth, until they go to jail, that does not equal 450,000 lives lost to the opioid crisis.”