HBO’s excellent new documentary The Crime of the Century about how the pharmaceutical industry created the opioid epidemic while largely avoiding responsibility makes the point that pharma has avoided the truth by paying nominal (for them) settlements. The lawyers never forced internal industry documents obtained in discovery out into the open.
That situation has changed as a result of efforts Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and other state attorneys general, who have demanded that discovery documents they obtained be made public. Working with Johns Hopkins University, the UCSF Library has added these documents to its free and searchable Industry Documents Library.
Today, the collection grew by 1,453 Insys Therapeutics internal documents. In 2016, former executives and managers of Insys Therapeutics Inc. (an opioid manufacturer which produced Subsys, a fentanyl-based pain medication) were indicted by a Grand Jury on charges including conspiracy to commit racketeering, mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback law in relation to a nationwide conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners and defraud insurers. The UCSF Library is processing this Insys Litigation Documents collection and will post all the documents over the course of the year (yes it’s a big collection!). The documents come from U.S. District Court records (District of Massachusetts, Boston) and from investigation by the New York State Office of the Attorney General.
The full opioid collection contains 4753 documents so far from several companies. As noted above, it will continue to grow.
So, contrary to the conclusion HBO drew when they produced Crime of the Century the truth is coming out thanks to the efforts of several state attorneys general.
This success should also serve as a model for all the plaintiffs (which include many state AGs) who are suing Juul: They need to see that the discovery documents in those cases are made public and added to UCSF’s fledgling Juul collection for all to see.
The UCSF Industry Documents Library also allows cross-searches across all collections, including not only pharma, but tobacco, food, chemicals, and fossil fuels.
Indeed, the new Insys documents are part of 11,953 new documents added to Tobacco, Drug and Food Industry Archives today. The other documents include:
- 4,809 Tobacco Industry Documents from RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris and Brown and Williamson files
- 5,691 new Food Industry Documents from the USRTK Food Collection. The majority of these documents concern Coca-Cola partnerships with academic institutions and researchers on issues of obesity and exercise.
Check them out!
If you want to be kept informed as new documents are added, sign up for the UCSF Industry Documents Library blog. It’s free.