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OxyContin maker to plead guilty in opioid probe

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:37s - Published
OxyContin maker to plead guilty in opioid probe

OxyContin maker to plead guilty in opioid probe

Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin, in a deal that comes with a $8.4 billion settlement but stops short of criminally charging its executives or wealthy Sackler family owners.

Conway G.

Gittens has more.

In a wide-ranging settlement with the Department of Justice, Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin, in a deal with U.S. prosecutors that stopped short of criminally charging its executives or wealthy Sackler family owners.

The criminal and civil settlement is related to the distribution of the painkiller, and its alleged role in contributing to an opioid epidemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans since 1999.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen: "The global settlement announced today involves the company pleading guilty to three felony counts for defrauding the United States and violating the anti kickback statute from 2009 to 2017.

The corporate resolution is subject to the bankruptcy courts approval.

If it's approved, this will be a corporate settlement in total of more than $8.3 billion dollars.

Additionally, members of the Sackler family have agreed to pay $225 million dollars in a civil settlement that will provide civil releases only.” According to prosecutors, Purdue conspired to engage in criminal conduct over the years that kept medically questionable prescriptions of its opioids flowing.

None of the Sacklers nor any Purdue executives were criminally charged as part of the settlement.

Still, further changes are coming to Purdue and the Sackler Family's role with the company as a result of Wednesday's settlement.

"The agreed resolution, if approved by the court, will require that the company be dissolved and no longer exist in its present form.

It would require that the Sacklers must relinquish all ownership and control of the company or of any of its successors and the company's assets would be transferred to a new public benefit company.” But the agreement is under fire from critics who say Purdue, which racked in $30 billion in OxyContin sales over the years, and the Sackler Family are getting off with just slaps on the wrist.

There could, however, be more to come.

“It's also important to note that this resolution does not prohibit future criminal or civil penalties against Purdue Pharma executives or employees." And Purdue is still facing an onslaught of litigation tied to its alleged role in what the Trump administration has declared a public health emergency.




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