What Does Dr. Julian Somers Actually Believe?

What does Dr. Julian Somers actually believe? Dr. Julian Somers is a researcher and professor in the mental health and addiction field in British Columbia, Canada. He is currently a professor at Simon Fraser University and serves as the Research Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Program. In addition to his research, Julian has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to the field of mental health, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Applied Public […]

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Study: Legal MJ Laws Create ‘Significant’ Dip in Pharmacy-Based Codeine Distribution

The study, published January 19 in Health Economics, found a significant reduction in pharmacy-based codeine distribution among states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. From a public health perspective, it’s a promising finding, continuing to affirm that cannabis is leading people away from prescription opioids, which contribute to more than 10,000 overdose deaths annually.

Codeine has seen a rise in popularity as a recreational drug over the last several years, especially among teens. Users often mix codeine cough syrup with soda (often called Lean, Purple Drank or Sizzurp); while it often leads to a feeling of relaxation and happiness, the feelings are not long-lasting, one reason for the substance’s high potential for abuse.

Generally, codeine (especially in syrup form) is prescribed in conjunction with other medications to reduce coughing and relieve pain.

“A reduction in the misuse of opioids will save lives,” said doctoral candidate and lead author Shyam Raman in a Cornell University blog post discussing the study. “Our research indicates that recreational cannabis laws substantially reduce distribution of codeine to pharmacies, an overlooked potential benefit to legalizing recreational cannabis use.”

The study is believed to be one of the first to separately examine the impact on recreational cannabis laws on shipments of opioids to hospitals, pharmacies and other endpoint distributors. The authors additionally note that the study adds to existing literature by examining the impacts of recreational cannabis laws on prescription opioid dispensing “across all payers and endpoints,” to adjust for important opioid-related policies such as prescribing limits and modeling opioids separately by time.

Ultimately, the research revealed a 267% reduction in pharmacy-based distribution of codeine and as much as a 37% reduction after recreational cannabis laws were in effect for four years or more. There was, however, “a minimal impact” on distribution of other opioids, like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine in any setting. The study authors also noted a “minimal impact” on codeine distribution by hospitals, which they say have “less permissive policies than pharmacies.”

Senior author Coleman Drake, of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health, called these findings particularly meaningful, citing previous studies’ focuses on more potent opioids. Codeine, he said, is “a weaker drug with a higher potential for addiction.”

Drake continued, “It indicates people may be obtaining codeine from pharmacies for misuse, and that recreational cannabis laws reduce this illicit demand.”

W. David Bradford (University of Georgia) and Johanna Catherine Maclean, Ph.D. (George Mason University) were also authors on the study.

Maclean spoke about the similarities and differences between cannabis and opioids based on health, noting that while the two substances can both be used to minimize chronic pain symptoms, they aren’t equivalent when it comes to the impact on an individual’s health. The authors conclude that codeine is particularly likely to be used non-medically; therefore, the findings further support the promise of legal cannabis from a public health perspective.

“Increasing legal access to cannabis may shift some consumers away from opioids and toward cannabis,” Maclean said. “While all substances have some risks, cannabis use is arguably less harmful to health than the nonmedical use of prescription opioids.”

The study follows a number of other recent analyses similarly looking at the impact of cannabis legalization on drug use, prescribed or otherwise. In September 2022, one study found that nearly four out of five patients reported “cessation or reduction in pain medication use” after they began using medical cannabis regularly. 

American youth have also been shown to steer away from booze in favor of cannabis over the years, with cannabis use rising 245% since the year 2000 in the U.S., while alcohol use has steadily declined over that same period. Another adjacent outcome, a new federally funded study found that people living in states with legal cannabis experience lower rates of alcohol use disorder, compared to those states where cannabis is still criminalized.

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Poilievre Misdiagnoses Opioid Crisis

Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre misdiagnoses the opioid crisis in the latest video, “Everything Feels Broken.” In the five-minute video, Poilievre uses a Vancouver tent city as his backdrop to make a case for the drug war. For a decade, British Columbia (among other Canadian cities) has provided a clean, safe supply of drugs for the addicted. He calls it a “failed experiment” brought in by “woke Liberal and NDP governments,” before saying he’ll end this policy and instead put […]

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Germany Speeding Up Legalization Process

Germany appears to be speeding up its legalization process. Finance Minister Christian Lindner tweeted cannabis will be legal “soon.” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said there are a lot of technical details to work out, which are supposed to start this summer. Expect a draft legalization bill sometime before the end of the year. The Germans […]

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War and Peace and Cannabis

Since it is almost always the poor sent to fight wars, the political left has correctly used the metaphor of pawns in a larger, murderous chess game. This tide started to turn under Obama. His 2008 campaign is a testament to how the left used to be antiwar. But once he became president, not only […]

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Pfizer Entering Cannabis Space Through $6.7 Billion All-Cash Acquisition

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. is getting involved in the medical cannabis industry through the $6.7 billion, all-cash acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, a California-based company specializing in autoimmune and cardiovascular treatments, who also has a cannabinoid medication currently in their pipeline.  

The two publicly traded companies confirmed the deal last week. As per the agreement, Pfizer will own all outstanding shares of Arena, which they purchased for a total of $100 per share. This marks their eighth major acquisition over the last 20 years.  

Like with most other beneficial compounds, big pharma is looking to take over cannabis too. Only, when pharma comes in, you get much less of the natural healing compounds and a whole lot of synthetics and derivatives. That said, now is the time to shop for products, while we still can. For more articles like this one, and for exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other legal products, remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!

Pfizer and their rise to fame 

Pfizer Inc. is a multinational, American-headquartered, pharmaceutical and biotech corporation based in Manhattan, New York City, NY. The company was founded by two German immigrants in 1849, Charles Pfizer and his cousin Charles F. Erhart.  

By the 1950s, Pfizer was now a global company with offices in Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, as well as many locations throughout the United States. In 1960, their major US research facility was moved from New York City to Groton, Connecticut.  

In 1980, Pfizer released its first billion-dollar product – Feldene (piroxicam), a prescription-only anti-inflammatory treatment. Their next major product to receive approval was Diflucan (fluconazole) in 1981, an oral medication used to treat several types of fungal infections including candidiasis, blastomycosis, coccidiodomycosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, dermatophytosis, and pityriasis versicolor. 

In 1989, Pfizer accidentally created one of their most popular medications, Viagra. Initially intended to treat high blood pressure and angina, early trials showed it was not effective for these conditions. It did, however, have an interesting side effect. Trial volunteers reported increased erections after taking the medicine. It was patented for this purpose and received approval from the FDA in March 1998. By the end of 1999, Pfizer had already made $1 billion off Viagra sales.  

Along with Viagra, Pfizer also released Zoloft around the same time. Zoloft is a highly controversial anti-depressant that has been the central focus of hundreds of lawsuits. At the heart of many cases was an increased risk of violent behavior, mania, aggression, and even suicidal tendencies; the exact conditions a medication like this is supposed to alleviate. These symptoms were common at the start of treatment or anytime the patients’ doses were changed.

Additional side effects of Zoloft include: agitation, hallucinations, fever, overactive reflexes, tremors; nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination; trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing, or breathing that stops. 

COVID-19 Vaccine 

Despite their long list of existing – albeit sometimes questionable – medications and practices, it wasn’t until the start of this year that Pfizer truly became a household name in nearly every country on earth, following the development of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. As controversial as this vaccine may be, there is one thing that no one can deny – it’s a serious money maker.  

By June, the company had already made roughly $11.3 billion off the vaccine, based on their Q1 and Q1 reports. Now that the booster is available, Pfizer expects its Covid-19 vaccines to bring in roughly $33.5 billion in revenue by the end of 2021, which would make it one of their best-selling medications, ever.  

According to a review of 120,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations between June and September 2021, 15 percent are breakthrough cases, and that number is expected to rise significantly with the omicron variant. Some experts believe that soon, most Covid cases will be breakthroughs. A “breakthrough” case refers to new covid cases in vaccinated patients.  

Considering the short-lived efficiency of the vaccine, and the fact that pharmaceutical companies are pushing for boosters every six months, there’s certainly a lot of money to be made in the vaccine game, for those who were able to get a foot in early on.  

Who is Arena Pharmaceuticals? 

Arena Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company based San Diego, California and founded in 1997. Their main area of study, up until now, has been in the fields of autoimmune, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal diseases and they’ve been working on different small molecule medicines for these conditions.

The cannabinoid medication they’re formulating is called Olorinab (APD371). It’s an oral medication that will function as a full agonist of the CB2 receptors. They are researching the effectiveness of this treatment against numerous different health conditions and symptoms, but they are focused primarily on visceral pain associated with gastrointestinal illness.  

In other, non-cannabinoid areas of the pipeline, Arena has been working on medications for the treatment of many different immuno-inflammatory diseases, heart conditions, gastroenterology, and dermatology. Currently, all their drugs are still in the development stage.  

About the $6.7 billion all-cash deal 

“The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in Inflammation and Immunology, a Pfizer innovation engine developing potential therapies for patients with debilitating immuno-inflammatory diseases with a need for more effective treatment options,” stated Mike Gladstone, global president & general manager, Pfizer Inflammation and Immunology.  

“Utilizing Pfizer’s leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases,” he added. Etrasimod is Arena’s prime future treatment option for immune-mediated inflammatory disease.  

President and CEO of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Amit D. Munshi, stated that they are “thrilled” to have been acquired by Pfizer, and remarked on “Arena’s potentially best in class S1P molecule and our contribution to addressing unmet needs in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Pfizer’s capabilities will accelerate our mission to deliver our important medicines to patients. We believe this transaction represents the best next step for both patients and shareholders.” 

Big Pharma Entering Cannabis Space 

As big of news as this is, it’s not the first example of a large pharmaceutical company getting involved in cannabis, and it certainly won’t be the last. Most recently, earlier this year, Jazz Pharmaceuticals purchased GW Pharmaceuticals, a cannabinoid drug company from the UK that developed Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved CBD medication. It has also earned approval in Japan and most of Europe. Epidiolex is used to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.  

Back in 2018, Tilray, a major Canadian-based cannabis corporation, finalized a supply and distribution deal with Novartis AG, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company. Johnson & Johnson is also eyeing the industry, and has even allowed cannabis company Avicanna to utilize their 40,000-square-foot research facility, Innovation JLABS@Toronto. This type of setup can provide startups with flexible and stable labs to test products, without the “investor” actually taking a financial stake in the company.  

Final Thoughts 

The main takeaway here is that big pharma is very familiar with the benefits of cannabis, and once it’s federally legal, large pharmaceutical companies will be making major moves in the medical sector. With companies like this, it’s all about the money, and they’re just waiting for the right time to pull the plug. But keep in mind that the minute real THC (not synthetic) is used in a pharmaceutical drug, it can no longer be sold as a wellness supplement or recreational product. So if the day ever comes that pharmaceutical companies start using plant-extracted THC in their formulations, the industry as we know it will cease to exist.

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most interesting stories of today. Join us frequently to stay on-top of the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletterto ensure you’re never late on getting a story.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Microdosing Is the Future of Cannabis

As North America has settled comfortably into its recreational era, I’m thinking about the future of cannabis consumption.

While aficionados of the plant rightfully have many concerns about the pharmaceutical industry’s evolving relationship with marijuana, I’d argue that the future of cannabis is based on certain pharmacological principles — those of consistency, predictability and repeatability.

And a large part of that equation leads us to the importance, and even necessity, of microdosing cannabis.

We already know that the future of cannabis revolves around the consumers who have yet to walk into a marijuana shop. The existing ganja markets have progressed substantially — but the industry is currently looking to untapped markets for future growth.

The Santa Monica mom or Toronto dad who never got their medical marijuana recommendations but are curious about the ease a recreational shop offers in the months to come? These are the personas that marketing executives are now targeting from El Paso to Saskatoon, from San Diego to Bangor.

But how does legal cannabis appeal to this cautiously careful rookie demographic?

By offering these potential new adopters a consistent, predictable and repeatable high — the kind of pinpointed experience they’ve rarely, if ever, enjoyed from the cannabis plant.

It’s part of the beauty of cannabis, really: This is a plant, a living being, with the haphazard inconsistency that comes along with that. But now that cannabis is a government-regulated commodity and states are testing marijuana flower and pot products for potency, these growers and producers face responsibilities that black market operators never had to bother with.

Kiva’s Terra Bites contain only 5 mg THC per bite. Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

And I should know. Five years ago, I wasn’t consuming cannabis at all. I don’t smoke anything, and so my only real experiences with marijuana came from the occasional random pot brownie, all of which were just that: random. But when a friend first offered me a square of his state-regulated infused chocolate bar — with a label that explained that each break-apart piece included exactly 10 mgs of activated THC — I was immediately intrigued.

And after a number of consistent-ish experiences with that brand, where I was able to repeat my cannabis high for the first time in my life, I was immediately won over. I remember my third or fourth nibble of edible marijuana — riding that giggly high and marveling at how much fun I was having on this new-to-me substance — thinking that I suddenly and unexpectedly had a new favorite drug.

And that’s how a new adopter is won over — but I would never have come over to cannabis were it not for edibles (aka non-smokables) and, more importantly, a consistent product.

And that’s where microdosing comes in.

For most states, a single serving of edible marijuana is 10 mgs of THC. I’ve made this unpopular argument before, but that’s way too high for most people — from the new adopters dipping their toes in the water to the veteran smokers whose tolerance is inhalation-specific.

But 2.5 mgs of THC? That’s a friendlier dose. It’s still too much for some, but it’s more realistic than 10 mgs, and it also allows patients and recreational consumers to experiment more thoughtfully and carefully as they figure out their specific tolerance.

If we time-traveled back to my early experiences with state-regulated edibles in 2013, you’d find me in the kitchen with a cutting board and steak knife trying to accurately split apart a 10 mg square of chocolate into four pieces. Of course, it was an exercise in futility; The weed candy bar split evenly apart at its molded seams, but nowhere else.

I didn’t know it then, but I was microdosing — learning from a previous experience that 10 mgs was too much for me, but roughly a quarter of that was juuuuust right.

All these years later — basically decades in cannabis time — brands from California (Kiva) to Colorado (Sweet Grass Kitchen) to Washington (Willie’s Reserve) are selling microdose edibles, recognizing the new market demand for these kinds of products.

And to think that microdose edibles weren’t anywhere to be seen back when Colorado and Washington first started slinging retail cannabis back in 2014.

Microdose edibles aren’t only for the noobs.

While my general tolerance for edible marijuana was 2.5 mgs of THC back in 2013, these days it’s more in the 12.5 to 15 mgs range. You know how I know that? Because I’ve been experimenting — with a 10 mg gummy chased by a 2.5 mg (or two) chewable candy.

I know exactly how that combination will make me feel. Just as I know exactly how two hard ciders will make me feel.

And that comparison is everything.

While alcohol is certainly deadlier and more addictive than marijuana, the legal booze market has decades on legal weed — and in that time brewers and distillers have pinpointed their products’ potency, giving consumers the confidence and trust to develop loyalty to brands because of how those drinks affect them.

And that’s the next stage for the cannabis industry: Producing an intimately repeatable experience for consumers looking for that “I’ll-have-a-PBR” equivalent. And microdosing is key to this trust-building exercise, especially for the wide-open demographic awaiting their first experience with marijuana — or at least their first in a long while.

TELL US, have you tried microdosing cannabis?

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Big Pharma Exec Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison For Role in Opioid Crisis

“He was already a billionaire when this started, and this made him even richer,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Yeager at big pharma drug dealer John Kapoor’s trial. On Thursday, the Insys Therapeutics founder saw the price of that greed. After pleading not guilty, Kapoor was convicted of orchestrating a criminal conspiracy and sentenced to five and a half years in jail. 

To date, pharmaceutical industry-encouraged, elevated rates of opioid abuse have claimed some 400,000 lives in the United States. In 2017, 68 percent of the 70,000 people who died from a drug overdose perished from opioid abuse.

76 year old Kapoor was the CEO of an Arizona drug company that sold Subsys, an oral fentanyl spray. The drug is every bit as addictive as it sounds. Executives were proven to have been aware of the disastrous effects the spray was taking on patients. But as court documents show, from 2012 to 2015 they employed underhanded techniques to convince doctors to prescribe the drug at high levels, and were unafraid to use bribes, sexual attention, and outright deceit to get the job done. 

The Insys executives were tried under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act [RICO], which rarely has been wielded against kingpins in supposedly legal industries. Many of those tried under RICO have been cartel or mob bosses. 

Seven others from the company found themselves named as defendants, and all were sentenced to jail time. Michael Gurry, former vice president and Richard Simon, national director of sales, each got 33 months. Former CEO Michael Babich got 30 months. Regional sales director Joseph Rowan was sentenced to 27 months. Alec Burlakoff, vice president of sales, received 26 months. Sunrise Lee, regional sales director, was sentenced to serve a year and a day.

But prosecutors had asked for much longer sentences — in Kapoor’s case, 15 years. The mother of a woman who overdosed on Subsys was incensed by what she saw as the Insys executives getting off easily compared to the weight of their crimes. 

“They all got away with murder because that’s exactly what they did because it’s more than Sarah that died from it,” said Deb Fuller, who attended Kapoor’s sentencing at a Boston courthouse. Fuller testified during the trial that her daughter’s death had left her family in “constant, agonizing grief.” 

Big Pharma Pushers Held Accountable

Some hope that the court’s precedence of jail time for executives responsible for the deaths of the opiate crisis will mean other offenders are brought to justice. 

“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” former federal prosecutor Brad Bailey told NPR. “It’s a template that prosecutors will continue to use.”

US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling shared that sentiment in a written statement he released in response to the sentencing; “Just as we would street-level drug dealers, we will hold pharmaceutical executives responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic by recklessly and illegally distributing these drugs, especially while conspiring to commit racketeering along the way.”

That may not be enough to get back all the lives lost to the opiate crisis, but it’s a good step towards holding some of the nastiest high level criminals in our society accountable.

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Victims Of Opioid Abuse To Help Decide How Much Purdue Pharma Should Pay

Victims of opioid addiction weren’t in the room when OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma persuaded half the state attorneys general to settle claims over the company’s role in the nationwide overdose epidemic.

that Purdue is in federal bankruptcy court, four people whose lives
were touched by addiction have important seats at the table — and could
force fundamental changes to the tentative deal. They are part of a
bankruptcy committee that will play a major role in deciding how much
Purdue will pay and potentially how that money is to be spent.

committee can investigate Purdue’s operations and possibly even go
after more money from the members of the Sackler family who own the
company. They will play a central role in evaluating the tentative
settlement reached by the attorneys general representing roughly half
the states.

The four are a mother and a grandfather of children
born dependent on opioids, a man in recovery from addiction and a mother
who lost a son to overdose. Together, they could be an emotionally
persuasive minority on the nine-member Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors appointed by the U.S. trustee overseeing the bankruptcy.

“There’s not a shy person in the bunch,” said addiction treatment advocate and lobbyist Carol McDaid, who attended the hearing when the committee candidates were interviewed and chosen. The four victims know how to make their voices heard, she said.

It’s unusual for a creditors committee to include private citizens. The other members are more typical: a medical center, a health insurer, a prescription benefit management company, the manufacturer of an addiction treatment drug and a pension insurer.

The committee can hire lawyers and financial
experts paid for by the debtor — in this case, Purdue, said Robert
Dammon, dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon
University. It can investigate issues such as the company’s value and
even whether the Sackler family has improperly taken money out of it —
something some state attorneys general are investigating.

including prescription drugs and illegal ones such as heroin and
illicitly made fentanyl, have been linked to more than 400,000 deaths in
the U.S. since 2000. Thousands of infants have been born to mothers who
were taking opioids while pregnant, and two committee members represent
those children.

Kara Trainor is a mother of a child born
dependent on opioids. Walter Lee Salmons, a grandfather, is helping
raise two affected children. Ryan Hampton is an activist in recovery
from opioid addiction. Cheryl Juaire lost her 23-year-old son to a
heroin overdose after he became addicted to prescription painkillers.

They have been asked not to publicly discuss the bankruptcy case.

of the victims are veteran protesters who will need to channel the
emotion of their personal stories in a different way. Juaire, whose son
overdosed in 2011, regularly tells reporters she’d like to see the
Sackler family in jail.

Now they’ll need to be practical, said
Gary Mendell of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit working on addiction
issues. Mendell, an entrepreneur who lost his son to addiction, has used
his personal story to influence policies at the state and national

“It is connecting with people emotionally about a family
that’s been shattered — and once you’ve connected emotionally, crafting
practical approaches to sparing other families that same tragedy,”
Mendell said.

McDaid said victims usually get “a token seat” at the table.

they pat you on the head and give you an award later,” she said. “This
could be very meaningful. There could be some justice.”

said “it will be a win” if the bankruptcy leads to investments in
addiction treatment infrastructure and support for people in recovery
such as housing and education “so people can get and stay well.”

is facing some 2,600 lawsuits over the toll of opioids, most of them
filed by local governments. The company has accounted for a relatively
small percentage of overall opioid sales, but its drug OxyContin is
perhaps the best known prescription opioid. Several other drugmakers,
distributors and pharmacies are facing most of the same lawsuits.

It’s not exactly clear how much clout the committee could have in such an unusual bankruptcy case.

can bring to court problems with what the debtor is trying to do,” said
Lindsey Simon, a University of Georgia School of Law bankruptcy expert.
“They have leverage.”

But she noted a judge does not have to do
what the committee wants. Even though the thousands of state and local
governments suing Purdue are not seated on this committee, they can give
input into how the case should go.

The committee has been meeting
virtually every business day by phone since it was formed toward the
end of last month, according to a court filing made Saturday by the
committee’s attorneys. It is expected to look out for the interests of
all parties to whom Purdue owes money; so far, most of the attention in
the case has been on the Purdue settlement talks with state and local

“The public litigants have dominated the press for
the past year or so … and there has been less press regarding the
private litigants — and perhaps an inclination to discount the size and
importance of those claims. Doing so, however, would be unfair, and
contrary to the facts,” the committee’s attorneys wrote. “Collectively,
the amount of the private litigants’ claims is vast — just like the
public litigants.”

One of the committee members, for example, is
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents a network of
Blue Cross Blue Shield companies that provide health care coverage to
one-third of all Americans, according to the court filing. It has a
claim against Purdue ranging from nearly $69 billion to $78.6 billion
for what it says are excess payments for prescription medications used
by members of its health plans and for having to cover the costs for
illnesses, injuries and addiction that “would not have been incurred but
for the actions of the Debtors.”

Purdue’s settlement plan could
be worth up to $12 billion over time. It calls for the company to be
converted into a public benefit trust where profits would help pay for
the settlement. Also included is the value of overdose antidotes and a
treatment drug in development. As part of the deal, members of the
Sackler family would pay $3 billion to $4.5 billion, depending how much
they get from selling their international drug companies.

state attorneys general and key lawyers representing other plaintiffs
suing Purdue and other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies, have
signed on. But another two dozen state attorneys general and hundreds of
local governments have not and are pushing to be allowed to continue
their lawsuits against the Sackler family. In court filings, they say
the deal does not contain an admission of wrongdoing and doesn’t force
the Purdue owners to repay money “they pocketed from their illegal

Even if those suits can’t continue, the committee could work on the same issues as part of the bankruptcy process.

Lee Taylor of the Center on Addiction, a national nonprofit in New York
that is focused on prevention and treatment, said it’s crucial to
listen to families and people in recovery: “They’re the experts.”

The center’s recommendations
for spending opioid settlement money are based on listening to people
talk about an insurance system that’s difficult to navigate, doctors
uneducated about treating addiction and other barriers.

“So many
pieces of the system are broken,” Taylor said. “By hearing stories, it
really highlights the broken joints in the system so we can fix it going

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