Oxycontin advertiser reaches $350 million settlement over opioid marketing

TheStreet’s J.D. Durkin brings the latest business headlines from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as markets open for trading Friday, February 2.

Full Video Transcript Below:

J.D. DURKIN: I’m J.D. Durkin – reporting from the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s what we’re watching on TheStreet today.

Investors are reacting to a blowout January jobs report…the U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs last month, up from December’s 216,000, and well above analyst expectations. This is yet another sign of how resilient the labor market has been despite soaring interest rates.

Markets are also digesting big tech earnings. Both Meta and Amazon reported better than expected results while Apple fell short due to a decline in sales in China. So far, roughly 30 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have released fourth-quarter earnings.

In other news – an advertising firm tied to helping create the opioid epidemic has agreed to pay a $350 million settlement. French marketing firm Publicis worked on Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin account and is now the first ad agency to have to pay for misleading the public about the drug’s effects. Purdue released OxyContin in the 1990s and has been accused of powering the U.S. opioid crisis.

From 2010 to 2019, Publicis’ “Evolve to Excellence” campaign falsely claimed that OxyContin was not addictive and did not have the potential to be abused. The campaign also pushed doctors to continually increase the amount of OxyContin given to patients, even when it was not medically necessary.

In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James scolded the company for “directly fueling the opioid crisis” and applauded the settlement – saying quote “No amount of money can compensate for lives lost and addiction suffered, but with this agreement, Publicis will cease their illegal behavior.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 560,000 people died from an opioid overdose between 1999 and 2020.

That’ll do it for your daily briefing. From the New York Stock Exchange, I’m J.D. Durkin with TheStreet.

Related Posts