A report coauthored by Dr. Cheryl Healton, Dean of New York University’s College of Global Public Health and professor of Public Health Policy and Management, was published by The Journal of the American Medical Association titled “The Opioid Crisis, Corporate Responsibility, and Lessons From the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.”
Highlighting the gravity of the opioid crisis in America, this report suggests ways in which this crisis can be addressed, primarily through legal approaches to hold corporations accountable. A framework for a settlement on opioids with key pharmaceutical companies could be implemented most effectively to help end the crisis by analyzing the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).
The report notes that the opioid epidemic is one of the sentinel epidemics in recent history. It has affected millions of individuals in the United States, matching in scope some of the worst epidemics of the past century. The scale of corporate responsibility for the epidemic will be determined by the legal processes currently in play. Many proven public health strategies can help redress the epidemic. Should an MSA be reached or court-ordered damages received, the ultimate agreement should create funds that are used exclusively for proven public health approaches to directly address the opioid epidemic, avoiding some of the pitfalls that befell the tobacco MSA.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 08