Dividends and JPMorgan cuts ties with Purdue Phama

In the US, there is an opioid crisis which law makers agree, President Trump has even signed executive orders and by partisan support in Washington, which is often hard to find, agrees with the President. Part of the crisis is linked to Purdue Pharma which makes the OxyContin pills. It is alleged in many lawsuits that Purdue Pharma knew the pills were addictive and pushed their distribution system as much as possible to sell more of the drugs.

If the drugs helped with the pain, but there was a small side affect, no one would complain that much. The issue is the addictiveness and suicides have resulted.

All large companies need an infrastructure to work with; in Purdue Pharma it included the largest US bank – JPMorgan Chase. In an article by Mike Spector and Jessica Dinapoli of Reuters, JPMorgan Chase’s commercial bank managed the cash and bill payments as well as investor services as well as the private banking looked after the Sackler family, the owner of the Purdue Pharma.

Similar to most companies, Purdue Pharma has banking relationships with more than one bank and as profitable company, its banking services have competitors wanting to bank with them. One example is Comerica of Dallas.

Purdue Pharma denies it contributed to the opioid crisis pointing the US Food and Drug Administration approvals of labels for the company’s drugs that carried warnings about risk and abuse associated with treating pain. Many states disagree as more than 400,000 people have overdosed between 1997 and 2017, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, it seems some form of new standards of being ethical are being brought to the marketplace. While no company is perfect, there are clearer lines which company overstep and they will pay a price. It is important to remember how your company reacted to the last crisis it faced and whether the problem which came to light was very recent or lasted years before being corrected.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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