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Attorney General Taylor Announces Settlement with Multinational Marketing Firm Publicis for Role in Opioid Epidemic

February 1, 2024

(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor today announced a $350 million national settlement with Publicis Health to resolve investigations into the global marketing and communications firm’s role in the prescription opioid crisis. Alaska will receive more than $780,000 from the settlement to help address the opioid crisis.
In agreeing to the terms of the settlement, Publicis recognized the harm its conduct caused. The company will disclose on a public website thousands of internal documents detailing its work for opioid companies like Purdue Pharma and will stop accepting client work related to opioid-based Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substances.

“Alaska has been hard hit by the opioid crises,” said Attorney General Taylor. “My office is determined to hold the companies that acted in bad faith accountable for their actions.”

Today’s filings in Anchorage describe how Publicis’ work contributed to the crisis by helping Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers market and sell opioids. Court documents detail how Publicis acted as Purdue’s agency of record for all its branded opioid drugs, including OxyContin, even developing sales tactics that relied on farming data from recordings of personal health-related, in-office conversations between patients and providers. The company was also instrumental in Purdue’s decision to market OxyContin to providers on patient’s electronic health records.

Today’s filing is the latest action Attorney General Taylor has taken to combat the opioid crisis and to hold accountable those responsible for creating and fueling the crisis. To date, the State of Alaska has obtained nearly $100 million dollars in legal settlements with drug manufacturers and others for their roles in the crisis. These funds will be used to abate the harm opioids have caused to the State of Alaska and its citizens.

Attorney generals from every state, every territory, and the District of Columbia joined in this settlement.

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Department Media Contacts: Communications Director Patty Sullivan at patty.sullivan@alaska.gov or (907) 269-6368. Information Officer Sam Curtis at sam.curtis@alaska.gov or (907) 269-6269.