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.
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- Milwaukee County Headed for Record Overdoses in 2020 - Edgar Mendez - Jun 19th, 2020
- Retaliating Against a Witness Who Provided Information to Law Enforcement About Neopit Woman’s Drug Dealing Leads to Prison Sentence - U.S. Department of Justice - Jun 16th, 2020
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- Baldwin Requests Funding to Study Opioid Crisis - Isiah Holmes - May 22nd, 2020
- U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Jeanne Shaheen Lead Colleagues in Calling for Increased Opioid Funding in Coronavirus Relief Package - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - May 19th, 2020
- Award-Winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Changes Prescribing Culture, Drives Down Opioid and Controlled Substance Prescribing - Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - May 11th, 2020
- Opioid Treatment Facility Sees Uptick During Pandemic - Isiah Holmes - Apr 9th, 2020
- Wisconsin Physician Agrees to Pay Financial Penalties to Resolve Allegations That He Prescribed Opioids Illegally and Violated False Claims Act - U.S. Department of Justice - Apr 5th, 2020
- County Overdose Deaths Up 50% in 2020 - Graham Kilmer - Apr 5th, 2020
Read more about Opioid Crisis here