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OSU Center for Health Sciences to receive bulk of settlement with Purdue Pharma to enhance addiction research

TULSA — Standing before a packed hall on the campus of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Dr. Kayse Shrum reminded everyone in the audience of how prevalent addiction is.

As the president at OSU Center for Health Sciences, Shrum has seen that addiction touches all walks of life.

“This isn’t a moral problem with people,” Shrum said. “This is actually a disease, and a disease we have to research and we have to treat.”

That cause got a powerful boost on Tuesday as Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced a historic settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin.

A $270 million settlement was reached between the state and Purdue Pharma, with the bulk of that settlement going to Oklahoma State University’s Center for Wellness and Recovery in Tulsa.

“The center for Wellness and Recovery is the premier institution for research, education and treatment for addiction in the United States,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “Our world-class team will use these funds for groundbreaking research … one day leading to the end of the nation’s ongoing public health crisis.”

Hargis then turned his praise toward Shrum.

“I don’t think we’d be here today but for her efforts,” he said.

The endowment will come in an initial $102.5 million installment direct to the OSU Center for Health Sciences.

After that, OSU Center for Health Sciences will receive an annual payment of $15 million for five years beginning in 2020. An additional $20 million will come in the form of addiction treatment medicine.

Launched in November 2017, the center specializes in studying and treating addiction while researching ways to cure it.

More than 200,000 Americans have been killed due to opioid addiction alone in the past two decades. Oklahoma reported to have more than 1,400 people seeking treatment for opioid addiction in 2018.

Shrum said the donation will enhance the work of the center, which was operating on a $2.4 million annual budget, and take its research ability to a national level.

“This will absolutely allow us to continue and absolutely amplify,” Shrum said. “We have been recognized in Oklahoma for the problem that we have.

“We are now going to be recognized for the solution.”

Related Photos
<strong>Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter acknowledges the crowd after speaking about a settlement with Purdue Pharma for opioid abuse, as Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Kayse Shrum and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, listen, Tuesday, March 26, 2019.  Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and the company's controlling family agreed Tuesday to pay a groundbreaking $270 million to Oklahoma to settle allegations they helped create the nation's deadly opioid crisis with their aggressive marketing of the powerful painkiller. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)</strong>

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter acknowledges the crowd after speaking about a settlement with Purdue Pharma for opioid abuse, as Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Kayse Shrum and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, listen, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Purdue...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e4de1bac275f402db031033c6c1a52d7.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter acknowledges the crowd after speaking about a settlement with Purdue Pharma for opioid abuse, as Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Kayse Shrum and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, listen, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and the company's controlling family agreed Tuesday to pay a groundbreaking $270 million to Oklahoma to settle allegations they helped create the nation's deadly opioid crisis with their aggressive marketing of the powerful painkiller. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP) " title=" Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter acknowledges the crowd after speaking about a settlement with Purdue Pharma for opioid abuse, as Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Kayse Shrum and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, listen, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and the company's controlling family agreed Tuesday to pay a groundbreaking $270 million to Oklahoma to settle allegations they helped create the nation's deadly opioid crisis with their aggressive marketing of the powerful painkiller. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP) "><figcaption> Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter acknowledges the crowd after speaking about a settlement with Purdue Pharma for opioid abuse, as Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Kayse Shrum and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, listen, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and the company's controlling family agreed Tuesday to pay a groundbreaking $270 million to Oklahoma to settle allegations they helped create the nation's deadly opioid crisis with their aggressive marketing of the powerful painkiller. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP) </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-074065fcd8654d8eb674c57a41849780.jpg" alt="Photo - Dr. Kayse Shrum talks about $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, $200 million to establish endowment for OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery. Also pictured, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is on the left, OSU president Burns Hargis is on the right." title="Dr. Kayse Shrum talks about $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, $200 million to establish endowment for OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery. Also pictured, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is on the left, OSU president Burns Hargis is on the right."><figcaption>Dr. Kayse Shrum talks about $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, $200 million to establish endowment for OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery. Also pictured, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is on the left, OSU president Burns Hargis is on the right.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3469686278756ede0840f84b8963f11c.jpg" alt="Photo - Dr. Kayse Shrum, with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, left, and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, announces a $200 million endowment for OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery, part of the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma." title="Dr. Kayse Shrum, with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, left, and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, announces a $200 million endowment for OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery, part of the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma."><figcaption>Dr. Kayse Shrum, with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, left, and OSU President Burns Hargis, right, announces a $200 million endowment for OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery, part of the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8ece704fb2cc02b8ffea805c3e6929c7.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State University Burns Hargis talks about the $200 million to establish an endowment for OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery, part of the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma." title="Oklahoma State University Burns Hargis talks about the $200 million to establish an endowment for OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery, part of the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma."><figcaption>Oklahoma State University Burns Hargis talks about the $200 million to establish an endowment for OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery, part of the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cb7047917eeb317d095b2f507e6e89fa.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announces $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, $200 million to establish endowment for OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery." title="Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announces $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, $200 million to establish endowment for OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery."><figcaption>Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announces $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, $200 million to establish endowment for OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery.</figcaption></figure>
Adam Kemp

Adam Kemp is the Higher Education reporter for The Oklahoman and Newsok.com. Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State Football... Read more ›

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