Beth Macy

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Howard Udell is a lawyer for Purdue Pharma who aggressively defends the company’s controversial practices on behalf of the Sackler family. At one point, he gets the journalist Barry Meier taken off the opioid beat at the New York Times. Ultimately, Udell ends up being one of the ones charged with a federal crime (along with Paul Goldenheim and Michael Friedman) when Purdue takes a plea deal in 2007.

Howard Udell Quotes in Dopesick

The Dopesick quotes below are all either spoken by Howard Udell or refer to Howard Udell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Chapter 4 Quotes

Conspicuously absent from the courthouse drama was the family that owned the company and its 214 affiliates worldwide- and benefited the most from the drug’s sale. Purdue had earned over $2.8 billion from the drug by 2007, including $595 million in earnings in 2006 alone. Unlike a public company that answers to shareholders, privately held Purdue answered only to the Sacklers.

In 2015, the family would earn its way onto Forbes’s “America’s Richest Families” list. With an estimated net worth of $14 billion, the OxyContin clan would edge out such storied families as the Busches, Mellons, and Rockefellers. Having gone from selling earwax remover and laxatives to the most lucrative drug in the world, the family had museum wings and college institutes named for it from Boston to Tel Aviv.

Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
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Howard Udell Character Timeline in Dopesick

The timeline below shows where the character Howard Udell appears in Dopesick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
The Value of Science Theme Icon
In 2005, Purdue lawyer Howard Udell goes after Barry Meier (author of Pain Killer and a New York Times journalist). Udell... (full context)
Chapter 4
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
Paul Goldenheim (Purdue’s medical director), Michael Friedman (the CEO), and Udell seem stunned to see the families of the OxyContin victims there. Purdue’s lawyers try to... (full context)
Cycles of History Theme Icon
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
...the plea agreement that Purdue made with prosecutors. The former Purdue people (Goldenheim, Friedman, and Udell) serve out their probation, with Udell dying of a stroke in 2013. Udell’s son remains... (full context)