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Opioids scoop: Reporters expose Italian probe of Purdue’s foreign affiliate

In the first of an investigative series about the spread of opioids overseas, Louisville-based national enterprise reporter Claire Galofaro and Rome reporter Frances D’Emilio broke the news that executives with the international arm of Purdue Pharma were caught up in a criminal investigation in Italy alleging they paid a doctor to help sell more opioids in the country. The reporters found that the doctor wrote scientific studies and organized conferences to promote opioids as safe and effective for chronic pain patients – the very same tactics that experts and attorneys general say Purdue and other companies used in the U.S. that laid the foundation for the addiction crisis. It’s the first known criminal case outside of the U.S. involving employees with the pharmaceutical empire owned by the Sackler family.

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