Drugmaker Purdue Pharma will give Oklahoma State University’s National Center for Wellness and Recovery access to the company’s research on opioids and addiction, according to a statement released Thursday by the company and OSU’s Center for Health Sciences.
“The data and other assets Purdue is sharing, paired with the funding announced in March, will be transformational to the ongoing and future research at the Center,” OSUCHS President Kayse Shrum said in the statement.
The exact nature of the data and research was not immediately clear, but officials said it represented a significant boost for the Center for Wellness and Recovery, which is headquartered at OSUCHS.
“This collaboration presents new and exciting opportunities at the scientific level that would not be available without Purdue’s years of extensive research,” Shrum said.
Officials said the collaboration is not part of a settlement with Purdue and its owners that directs $200 million to the center for addiction research.
That settlement, the result of a lawsuit by the state against several drug manufacturers including Purdue, totaled $275 million with the remainder going to attorneys and the state.
According to Thursday’s statement, “Purdue will provide the Center with access to research molecules and certain associated data and will grant the Center rights under certain intellectual property to conduct research into the causes of and potential treatments for addiction. The rights granted to the Center are intended to facilitate scientific discovery and create new opportunities for research aimed at unmet addiction treatment needs for patients and healthcare professionals.”
“Through years ... Purdue has accumulated knowledge around opioid analgesics and other investigational entities,” company President Craig Landau said in the release. “This knowledge could add significant value to the scientific and academic communities’ efforts to better understand and treat addiction.”
The settlement created a furor in state government because Attorney General Mike Hunter agreed to it with minimal consultation with legislators or Gov. Kevin Stitt, and because it directed so much money to a single recipient instead of the state general fund.
Hunter said the unusual arrangement was necessary under the circumstances.
More recently, the Department of Health and Human Services has laid claim to an undetermined share of the settlement, saying it should be reimbursed for Medicaid expenses in the state related to opioid addiction.
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