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Former Iowa governor, US ag secretary to monitor drugmaker

Tom Vilsack worked on rural opioid issues as Barak Obama's Secretary of Agriculture.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020 file photo, former United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks at a campaign stop for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at the LOFT on Jefferson, in Burlington, Iowa. Vilsack will oversee Purdue Pharma’s marketing efforts to ensure the OxyContin maker is not overstating the benefits of its opioid painkillers and downplays the danger of addiction, a strategy that critics say contributed to the nation’s overdose crisis Purdue Pharma announced Vilsack as its monitor on Friday, Feb. 21.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Former Iowa governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has been hired to monitor Purdue Pharma as the OxyContin maker goes through bankruptcy.

His job is to ensure the company is following an agreement that it not overstate the benefits of opioids or downplay the risk of addiction. Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection as part of its effort to settle thousands of lawsuits over its role in the national opioid crisis.

Vilsack is to report to Purdue's directors and to the federal bankruptcy court handling the case. The Democrat worked on rural opioid issues under former President Barack Obama.