State Politicians Funded by Accused Drug Makers
Drug companies sued for pushing opioids donated $39,000 to Walker, legislators.
More than three-quarters of Wisconsin’s 72 counties sued the pharmaceutical manufacturers last year, accusing them of fraudulently marketing painkillers that led to an epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths that has cost the counties millions of dollars in social service, law enforcement, and health care costs.
The defendants in the lawsuits are Purdue Pharma and Purdue Frederick, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions and Endo Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Mallinckrodt, McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.
Employees and political action committees from five of the companies contributed about $39,325 between January 2011 and December 2017 to 15 statewide and legislative candidates and committees. The contributions came from Purdue, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo, and Allergan. The top recipients of the contributions were:
- Republican Gov. Scott Walker, $20,800
- Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $6,750
- Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, $4,500
- State Senate Democratic Committee, $3,000
- GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel, $1,025
The largest single contribution – $10,000 – went to Walker from Purdue Pharma board member Mortimer Sackler, of Stamford, Conn.
Nationwide, hundreds of communities, counties, and states have filed similar lawsuits against drug makers in state and federal courts. At least 22 states have sued opioid manufacturers in recent years. Wisconsin is not among them.
- Wisconsin Drug Take Back Collection #2 in the Country; Collects Over 60,000 lbs. of Unwanted Medications to Fight the Opioid Epidemic - Josh Kaul - May 5th, 2021
- Baldwin Challenges Opioid Companies ‘Abusive’ Tax Deductions - Isiah Holmes - Apr 18th, 2021
- Overdoses Surge and Heroin, Opioid Cocaine Task Force Doesn’t Meet - Edgar Mendez - Apr 15th, 2021
- AG Kaul Highlights Need for Crime Lab Toxicology Positions, Technology to Address Evolving Drug Epidemic - Josh Kaul - Mar 10th, 2021
- A Medication Rescue for Opioid Overdoses - Corri Hess - Feb 22nd, 2021
- State Receives $10 million in Opioid Crisis Settlement - Jenny Peek - Feb 5th, 2021
- AG Kaul, Gov Evers Announce $573 Million Multistate Agreement with McKinsey & Company for “Turbocharging” the Opioid Epidemic with Purdue Pharma - Josh Kaul - Feb 4th, 2021
- Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Nearly $9 Million Awarded for Drug Treatment Services - Gov. Tony Evers - Jan 14th, 2021
- AG Kaul, Bipartisan AGs Push FDA to Examine Progress in Opioid Fight - Josh Kaul - Jan 11th, 2021
- Milwaukee County Surpasses Last Year’s Record Overdose Deaths - Edgar Mendez - Nov 27th, 2020
Read more about Opioid Crisis here