Boston based artist/activist, Domenic Esposito, placed a life-like 800 lb burnt opioid spoon sculpture at Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, L.P. today to protest the Purdue owned drug maker for their production of opioids.
With the news surrounding the family who owns Purdue Pharma, and their alleged role in the US opioid epidemic, this art-activism was designed to inform the public that Purdue in fact owns a second drug-maker that has produced millions of opioids every year.
Esposito gained national attention in June 2018 when he placed an 800 lb opioid spoon sculpture in front of Purdue's Stamford Connecticut headquarters to protest their role in the creation and production of Oxycontin. Esposito's newest sculpture is made of solid aluminum and includes the Rhodes moniker engraved on its handle.
Esposito organized "The Opioid Spoon Project" in November 2018 as a platform to provide the public with the truth and the facts about the various "players" responsible for the opioid epidemic. He selected Rhodes for this protest to inform the public of the Purdue connection. Purdue set up the subsidiary in 2007, four months after Purdue plead guilty to federal criminal charges surrounding their deceptive marketing practices of OxyContin over the previous decade.
Rhodes is comprised of a highly secured "campus" in Coventry, RI, which adds to the fact Purdue went to great measures to keep it as hidden as possible. Purdue's little-known company produces a plethora of opioid-based drugs.
"Purdue Pharma claims to represent a small percentage of opioid production, but in reality, they account for a much larger portion of opioid manufacturing," stated Esposito. "Lawsuits don't have an effect on big pharma, as they continue to find ways to profit, pay their fines, and carry on, making billions. Rhodes needed to be exposed so the public is aware of the strategic initiatives big pharma is willing to carry out to profit from."