In May of 2021 Massachusetts filed a civil lawsuit against Publicis Health seeking potentially hundreds of millions of dollars for its role in marketing Purdue Pharma’s highly addictive opioid OxyContin.
And barring any surprise settlement it looks like it’s going to be a while before the case is resolved.
Both sides continue to wage a paper battle in the discovery phase of the case and last month the presiding judge set a deadline of June 28, 2024 for expert discovery in the matter to be concluded. Other deadlines were extended into next year as well.
In late 2021 the agency’s request for summary judgement to have the case tossed was denied.
The agency argued that the state’s complaint contained “no facts that tie Publicis Health” to any misconduct.
It also asserted that ad firms are not legally responsible for the content of its clients’ ads. And it denied acting in an “unfair, deceptive or otherwise unlawful way” as asserted by the Massachusetts Attorney General.
There’s a lot at stake as agency healthcare practices provide some of the fastest growing revenue streams in the industry.
Meanwhile, The National Institutes of Health said earlier this year that opioid addition remains at epidemic levels in the U.S. and worldwide.