Historians push to create public archive of documents from massive opioid litigationHistorians in the News
tags: historians, archives, opioids, pharmaceutical
In settling lawsuits against them, companies often insist that all of the documents and depositions gathered as part of the cases be locked away or destroyed. To head that off — and to ensure a full accounting of the origins of the prescription opioid crisis — a group of historians is asking that any settlement in the massive opioid litigation require all collected documents be preserved and made public.
In a court brief Thursday, the experts called for “full and permanent access to the records” for scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the public, and for the defendants to cover the costs of creating an archive.
“The concealment of information about the abuse potential and distribution patterns of opioid painkillers allowed the epidemic of opioid abuse to take root in the first place and to grow to its current dimensions,” the brief says. “Since secrecy fueled the crisis, no just and genuinely remedial settlement can be reached unless it honors the public’s right to know and secures the conditions for its effective exercise into the future.”
The historians are modeling their entreaty after the 1998 tobacco settlement, which led to the public release of millions of pages of industry documents and included funding for the preservation of and access to the records. The records are maintained by the University of California, San Francisco’s Industry Documents Library and are available online.
comments powered by Disqus
- Washington History Seminar TODAY: Claudio Saunt's "Unworthy Republic"
- The Bonnie and Richard Reiss Graduate Institute for Constitutional History Seminar Spring 2021 Session (Virtual)
- Hank Aaron's Lasting Impact is Measured in More than Home Runs
- Hank Aaron's 715th, Called by Vin Scully
- Washington Must Treat White Supremacist Terrorism as a Transnational Threat
- Virtual Event: Sarah Miller-Davenport: Gateway State: Hawai’i and Cultural Transformation of American Empire, FEB. 1
- Virtual Event: Joan Wallach Scott's "On the Judgment of History" FRIDAY JAN. 29
- How Tuskegee Airmen Fought Military Segregation With Nonviolent Action
- What the History of the Ku Klux Klan Can Teach Us about the Capitol Riot
- Reconstruction Era Expert On Why Politicians Use Terms Unity And Healing