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One of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies, Purdue Pharma, has announced that they've hired a new senior vice president and general counsel.
In the announcement, Purdue explained that their new GC, Marc Kesselman, will help lead the company as it branches out into more than just pain medication, and as it takes "meaningful steps to address the opioid crisis." Kesselman likely has quite a bit of catch up to play, as Purdue has been one of the big targets in the recent wave of lawsuits targeting opioid makers.
While Kesselman may not have experience guiding a major pharmaceutical, he certainly has the right experience to get the chance. He is joining Purdue from Yum! Brands, which owns several major fast food companies. He also served as the GC for Frito-Lays for more than 5 years.
And while that food industry GC experience will surely help, Kesselman also put in nearly a decade as a government lawyer in the Department of Justice, and other federal agencies, and before that he was in private practice.
For Purdue, the sheer volume of opioid related lawsuits requires the company to do more than just bring on board a new GC. Recently, it was announced that a new Chairman of the Board will be added to Purdue's board of directors. That chairman, Steve Miller, is an expert in restructuring, and known for turning around major corporations on the verge of destruction. And while Purdue may not be there, it certainly needs experienced leadership to make sure the opioid crisis doesn't crush the company.
Recently, the companies new CEO, Craig Landau, has tried to recover the company's image by stopping the promotion of Oxycontin to prescribing doctors, seeking to help in the opioid crisis, and diversifying the company's drug offerings away from just pain meds.
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