Under pressure from people impacted by the nation's ongoing opioid crisis, a New York judge has confirmed Gil Kerlikowske, a former national drug czar in the Obama administration, as an outside monitor over Endo International's opioid business. The Chester County drug firm is reorganizing in bankruptcy court.
Endo will pay him as much as $25,000 a month, according to court documents.
"This is straight out of the Purdue playbook," said Temple University law professor Jonathan Lipson.
Purdue Pharma, which manufactures and markets the popular OxyContin pain pill, is monitored by former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock as it reorganizes in bankruptcy.
Restrictions on promoting opioids
Endo faces 3,100 lawsuits over its alleged part in the nation's opioid epidemic that the government estimates has claimed more than 500,000 American lives through prescription and illicit use of opioids. The Malvern firm filed for bankruptcy protection in Manhattan in mid-August. The firm is headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes but effectively run from Chester County.
New York Bankruptcy Judge James L. Garrity Jr. is presiding over the case and signed the court action designating the monitor on Nov. 15.
A bankruptcy committee has said there could be 600,000 potential victims of Endo's opioid pills and pushed for a monitor.
In the preliminary injunction signed by Garrity, Endo agreed to promotions and lobbying restrictions on its opioid business. Among those restrictions are not making false or "unconscionable comments" about opioids, or offering discounts to patients for opioid pills.
The company also won't appoint people to its board from organizations that promote opioids and it won't fund medical societies or advocacy groups that promote opioids.