STAT News wins ruling on drugmaker’s records
A Kentucky appeals court on Friday upheld a judge’s ruling ordering the release of records about Purdue Pharma’s marketing of the powerful prescription opioid OxyContin, a win for health care industry site STAT News, which had filed a motion to unseal the records.
David Armstrong and Andrew Joseph of STAT News report, “The unanimous opinion by a three-judge panel is a victory for STAT, which filed a motion more than two years ago to unseal the records — which were stored in a courthouse in a rural county hit hard by overdose deaths. STAT won a lower-court order in May 2016 to release the documents, but after Purdue appealed, the judge stayed that order.
“‘We’re tremendously encouraged by this ruling,” said Rick Berke, the executive editor of STAT. ‘More than two years after we filed this suit, the scourge of opioid addiction has grown worse, and the questions have grown about Purdue’s practices in marketing OxyContin. It is vital that that we all learn as much as possible about the culpability of Purdue, and the consequences of the company’s decisions on the health of Americans.’
“Despite Friday’s ruling, the company records will not be made public immediately. Purdue has the opportunity to decide whether it wants to request another hearing before the appeals court or ask the Supreme Court of Kentucky to overturn the decision. The company has 30 days to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.”
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