NEW: Perdue Bought Stock In Company Specializing In Pain Alternatives To Opioids In Week Before Key Opioid Hearing

December 3, 2020

An expert said Perdue’s stock trading got him a “terrific return” but “certainly doesn’t look good”

ATLANTA — A new 11Alive investigation found that in the week before a key Senate hearing on the opioid crisis, Senator David Perdue bought up to $60,000 worth of stock in Halyard Health, a medical device company that specialized in pain management alternatives to opioids. While the opioid crisis was ravaging communities across Georgia, Perdue purchased up to $150,000 in stock before selling the stock as the legislation moved through Congress, reaping a “terrific return.”

An expert said that Perdue’s well-timed stock trades in the medical device company will likely “be under scrutiny,” adding, “it certainly doesn’t look good.” The new investigation adds to intensifying national and local scrutiny of Perdue’s profitable stock deals after months of controversy and new reports that exposed Perdue for lying to Georgians about having personal discretion over his stock trades.

Experts have repeatedly slammed Perdue’s “perfectly timed” stock acquisitions, saying Perdue’s pattern of stock purchases “stinks to high heaven.”

“While the opioid crisis was ripping Georgia families apart, Senator Perdue was focused on enriching himself,” said Braxton Brewington, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “This level of corruption and prioritization of his own wealth is grossly unethical and Georgians will take their disgust with Perdue to the polls with them in January.”

11Alive: Perdue stock nets thousands early in opioid crisis

  • “US Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia) bought and sold stock whose price jumped as congress was trying to manage the opioid crisis. Records reviewed by 11Alive news show that Perdue made substantial profits from the stock as landmark opioid legislation was passing through congress.”
  • “Perdue has come under fire for much of this year for his stock trades at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. These trades indicate Perdue made thousands of dollars in stock profits during the opioid crisis as well.”
  • “Nearly five years ago, the US Senate judiciary committee convened to take its first hard look at the opioid crisis.”
  • “It was January 27, 2016. Seven days before the hearing, one of its members – Sen. Perdue – bought more than a thousand dollars worth of stock in a medical device company called Halyard Health. One of Halyard’s specialties was pain management alternatives to opioids.”
  • “Four times in the week prior to the January 27 opioids hearing — on January 20, 21, 25, and 26 – records show Perdue made four separate purchases of Halyard stock – valued between $4004 and $60,000. Congressional records are deliberately vague about exact values.”
  • “And Perdue kept buying. Records show he bought the same company’s stock six more times through the end of February 2016.  Altogether, his Halyard stock purchases were valued at up to $150,000, according to congressional records.”
  • “Around this time, coverage was just beginning of an opioid crisis that turned suburban Atlanta teenagers into heroin addicts in a geographic triangle that stretched from Atlanta to Canton to Gainesville. It was a heartbreaking story that got attention nationally – and in the halls of congress.”
  • “As the legislation moved through the senate, Perdue started selling. The value of Halyard stock had climbed  — from as little as $24.11 when Perdue started buying to as much as 37.03 by midsummer, when he sold it all off.”
  • “Price records indicate he made anywhere from 33 to 54 percent profit over the seven month period when Perdue bought, then sold, the stock in the company making pain management devices.”
  • “Thirty three percent on a seven month investment? I mean that’s a terrific return,” said Dr. Tom Smith, an Emory economist. Perdue’s wealth is no secret. The former Fortune 500 CEO lives on Sea Island, an elite gated community on the Georgia coast.  Roll Call reports most of his nearly $16 million dollars of wealth is tied up in his stock portfolio – and his public disclosures reveal hundreds of stock sales and purchases, year after year.  The New York Times this week reported Perdue is the most prolific stock trader in the US Senate.”
  • “When he sold his Halyard stock, Perdue reported the sale was worth no more than $120,000 – real money for most Georgians, but a fraction of Perdue’s portfolio.”
  • “”I hope everything is above boards,” Dr. Smith said. “I expect his trades will be under scrutiny, but it certainly doesn’t look good.”  Perdue is locked in a tight re-election race with Democrat Jon Ossoff. The runoff election is January 5.”


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