Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis

A shocking inside account of reckless capitalism and injustice in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case.

In September 2019, Purdue Pharma—the maker of OxyContin and a company controlled by the infamous billionaire Sackler family—filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from 2,600 lawsuits for its role in fueling the U.S. overdose crisis. Author and activist Ryan Hampton served as co-chair of the official creditors committee that acted as a watchdog during the process, one of only four victims appointed among representatives of big insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacies. He entered the case believing that exposing the Sacklers and mobilizing against Purdue would be enough to right the scales of justice. But he soon learned that behind closed doors, justice had plenty of other competition—and it came with a hefty price tag.

Unsettled
is the inside story of Purdue’s excruciating Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the company’s eventual restructuring, and the Sackler family’s evasion of any true accountability. It’s also the untold story of how a group of determined ordinary people tried to see justice done against the odds—and in the face of brutal opposition from powerful institutions and even government representatives.

Although America was envisioned as an equitable place, where the vulnerable are protected from the greed of the powerful, the corporate-bankruptcy process betrays those values. In its heart of hearts, this system is built to shield the ultra-wealthy, exploit loopholes for political power, promote gross wealth inequality, and allow companies such as Purdue Pharma to run amok.

The real story of the Purdue bankruptcy wasn’t that the billion-dollar corporation was a villain, a serial federal offender. No matter what the media said, Purdue didn’t do this alone. They were aided and abetted by the very systems and institutions that were supposed to protect Americans. Even on-your-side elected officials worked against Purdue’s victims—maintaining the status quo at all costs.

Americans deserve to know exactly who is responsible for failing to protect people over profits—and what a human life is worth to corporations, billionaires, and lawmakers. Unsettled is what happened behind closed doors—the story of a sick, broken system that destroyed millions of lives and let the Sacklers off almost scot-free.

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Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis

A shocking inside account of reckless capitalism and injustice in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case.

In September 2019, Purdue Pharma—the maker of OxyContin and a company controlled by the infamous billionaire Sackler family—filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from 2,600 lawsuits for its role in fueling the U.S. overdose crisis. Author and activist Ryan Hampton served as co-chair of the official creditors committee that acted as a watchdog during the process, one of only four victims appointed among representatives of big insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacies. He entered the case believing that exposing the Sacklers and mobilizing against Purdue would be enough to right the scales of justice. But he soon learned that behind closed doors, justice had plenty of other competition—and it came with a hefty price tag.

Unsettled
is the inside story of Purdue’s excruciating Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the company’s eventual restructuring, and the Sackler family’s evasion of any true accountability. It’s also the untold story of how a group of determined ordinary people tried to see justice done against the odds—and in the face of brutal opposition from powerful institutions and even government representatives.

Although America was envisioned as an equitable place, where the vulnerable are protected from the greed of the powerful, the corporate-bankruptcy process betrays those values. In its heart of hearts, this system is built to shield the ultra-wealthy, exploit loopholes for political power, promote gross wealth inequality, and allow companies such as Purdue Pharma to run amok.

The real story of the Purdue bankruptcy wasn’t that the billion-dollar corporation was a villain, a serial federal offender. No matter what the media said, Purdue didn’t do this alone. They were aided and abetted by the very systems and institutions that were supposed to protect Americans. Even on-your-side elected officials worked against Purdue’s victims—maintaining the status quo at all costs.

Americans deserve to know exactly who is responsible for failing to protect people over profits—and what a human life is worth to corporations, billionaires, and lawmakers. Unsettled is what happened behind closed doors—the story of a sick, broken system that destroyed millions of lives and let the Sacklers off almost scot-free.

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Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis

Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis

by Ryan Hampton
Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis

Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis

by Ryan Hampton

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Overview

A shocking inside account of reckless capitalism and injustice in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case.

In September 2019, Purdue Pharma—the maker of OxyContin and a company controlled by the infamous billionaire Sackler family—filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from 2,600 lawsuits for its role in fueling the U.S. overdose crisis. Author and activist Ryan Hampton served as co-chair of the official creditors committee that acted as a watchdog during the process, one of only four victims appointed among representatives of big insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacies. He entered the case believing that exposing the Sacklers and mobilizing against Purdue would be enough to right the scales of justice. But he soon learned that behind closed doors, justice had plenty of other competition—and it came with a hefty price tag.

Unsettled
is the inside story of Purdue’s excruciating Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the company’s eventual restructuring, and the Sackler family’s evasion of any true accountability. It’s also the untold story of how a group of determined ordinary people tried to see justice done against the odds—and in the face of brutal opposition from powerful institutions and even government representatives.

Although America was envisioned as an equitable place, where the vulnerable are protected from the greed of the powerful, the corporate-bankruptcy process betrays those values. In its heart of hearts, this system is built to shield the ultra-wealthy, exploit loopholes for political power, promote gross wealth inequality, and allow companies such as Purdue Pharma to run amok.

The real story of the Purdue bankruptcy wasn’t that the billion-dollar corporation was a villain, a serial federal offender. No matter what the media said, Purdue didn’t do this alone. They were aided and abetted by the very systems and institutions that were supposed to protect Americans. Even on-your-side elected officials worked against Purdue’s victims—maintaining the status quo at all costs.

Americans deserve to know exactly who is responsible for failing to protect people over profits—and what a human life is worth to corporations, billionaires, and lawmakers. Unsettled is what happened behind closed doors—the story of a sick, broken system that destroyed millions of lives and let the Sacklers off almost scot-free.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250273178
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/05/2021
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: eBook
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 935,202
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

RYAN HAMPTON is a national addiction recovery advocate, community organizer, author, and person in long-term recovery. He has worked with multiple nonprofits across the country and served in a staff capacity for various political campaigns. An alumnus of the Clinton White House, Hampton is in recovery from a decade of active opioid use and is a leading voice in America’s rising recovery movement. Hampton’s first book was American Fix. He lives in Nevada with his fiancé, Sean, and their dog, Dollar.
Ryan Hampton is a national addiction recovery advocate, author, media commentator, and person in long-term recovery. He has worked with multiple non-profits nationwide to end overdose and served in leadership capacities for various community organizing initiatives. Hampton is in recovery from a decade of active opioid use and is a leading voice in America's rising recovery movement. He is the author of Unsettled and American Fix—and lives in Nevada with his husband, Sean, and their boxer dog, Quincy.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 Billions Served 17

2 A Sleeping Giant 36

3 The Blizzard Was Coming 57

4 Flesh and Blood 83

5 Unchecked Power 109

6 The Death Curve 140

7 Last Month's Tuna Roll 165

8 Lawyers, Meds, and Money 183

9 Toothless 205

10 "A Legal Fiction" 242

11 The Breaking Point 267

Conclusion: The Way Out 285

After 303

Acknowledgments 309

In Memoriam 313

Index 315

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