DES MOINES—Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird joined a bipartisan coalition of 53 attorneys general in announcing a $350 million settlement with Publicis Health. Iowa will receive more than $2.5 million from the settlement to help address the opioid crisis.
The settlement comes after extensive investigations revealed Publicis engaged in deceptive marketing practices that downplayed the risks of opioids and their addictive nature. Publicis actively contributed to the opioid crisis by aiding Purdue Pharma’s marketing of OxyContin and other opioids. The filings claim Publicis, Purdue’s primary marketing agency, used patient data from recorded doctor-patient conversations and targeted marketing within electronic health records to boost sales.
Under the terms of the settlement, Publicis will:
- Pay $350 million to be distributed nationwide to support opioid treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts.
- Disclose thousands of internal documents detailing its work for opioid companies.
- Stop accepting new clients for marketing and promoting opioid-based Schedule II and other Schedule II narcotics.
“The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest problems plaguing our society today,” said Attorney General Bird. “For Publicis to perpetuate the opioid by crisis by downplaying the risks of addictive drugs is flat wrong. This settlement holds Publicis accountable and secures critical funding for opioid treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts to save lives across Iowa.”
Iowa joined the Colorado-led investigation along with all remaining U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia.
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Alyssa Brouillet | Communications Director