AG Ferguson: PR firm will pay Washington state $7.9 million for helping Purdue aggressively and deceptively market opioids

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced recently that public relations firm Publicis Health will pay Washington state more than $7.9 million for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic. 

The Washington Attorney General’s Office has recovered more than $1.2 billion and counting that must be used to combat the fentanyl and opioid crisis in Washington as a result of legal actions against entities that helped fuel the epidemic.

Publicis Health was the main marketing firm for Purdue Pharma for more than a decade. Publicis Health helped Purdue’s sales force target prescribers who would be most likely to prescribe large amounts of opioids, and had some prescribers record conversations with their patients to help the company better market the highly addictive narcotics.

The $7.9 million will come to the state in the next several months, and can be appropriated during the 2024 legislative session. As part of a $350 million multistate resolution, Publicis Health will no longer market or advertise opioid products.

Today’s announcement is in addition to the $149.5 million resolution with Johnson & Johnson

Successful previous outcomes include:
  • $518 million from distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen.
  • $183 million from manufacturer Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family bankruptcy.
  • $149.5 million from Johnson & Johnson.
  • $120.3 million from Walgreens.
  • $110.7 million from CVS.
  • $90.8 million from Teva Pharmaceuticals.
  • $62.6 million from Walmart.
  • $50 million from Allergan.
  • $13.5 million from McKinsey, a consulting firm that advised Purdue Pharma.
  • $7.9 million from Publicis Health.
  • $7.7 million from the Mallinckrodt bankruptcy.


Anonymous,  February 9, 2024 at 1:30 AM  

All the money in the world from all the pharma companies isn't going to make a dent in our opioid epidemic, because it doesn't address the true cause.

A person makes a choice to get high the first time. We have done everything we can to remove agency from this choice, but it still comes down to that. And because we don't hold addicts accountable for their bad decisions, politicians do other things like this that reduce the supply of medication to legitimate sufferers of chronic pain.

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