Oklahoma Opioid Settlement Will Fund Research

April 8, 2019

The pharmaceutical company that many critics blame for worsening the nation’s opioid epidemic will create a nearly $200 million endowment for addiction research and treatment at Oklahoma State University.

The endowment is part of a $270 million settlement between the state of Oklahoma and Purdue in a lawsuit related to the epidemic. It also removes Purdue from a state lawsuit filed against several prescription opioid manufacturers that is scheduled to go to trial in May.

Oklahoma State will use the endowment funds to establish the National Center for Addiction Studies and Treatment Foundation at its Center for Wellness and Recovery, which is housed at its health sciences campus in Tulsa.

The company in recent months has come under scrutiny for its role in efforts to downplay the dangers of opioids, even as evidence mounted of the addiction crisis they were creating.

Last month, Tufts University said it was reviewing funding that it received from the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers have been major donors to arts institutions -- some of which have stopped taking Sackler money -- and to biomedical education.

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