Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to role in opioid crisis

Washington-Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges on Tuesday for misleading the federal government into selling the blockbuster painkiller oxycontin, a prescription opioid that fostered the country’s addiction crisis. With this approval, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has officially closed and a multi-billion dollar settlement has been reached between the company and the Department of Justice.

“Abuse and misappropriation of prescription opioids contributes to the national tragedy of addiction and death,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a statement. “Today’s beliefs underscore the department’s commitment to a multifaceted strategy to defeat the opioid crisis.”

Purdue Chairman Steve Miller told the Drug Enforcement Administration at a remote hearing in a federal court in New Jersey that he had created a program to prevent OxyContin from being sold in the black market in order to reach its sales goals. I admitted that I told you. Despite selling the drug to more than 100 doctors suspected of illegally prescribing oxycontin.

Purdue also pleaded guilty to paying an illegal kickback to the doctor who prescribed OxyContin and the electronic health record firm PracticeFusion for targeting doctors with alerts aimed at increasing opioid prescriptions. .. Practice Fusion paid a fine of $ 145 million for receiving these kickbacks.

Doctors overprescribing oxycontin have contributed to the deaths of more than 450,000 Americans since 1999, along with the illegal distribution of drugs.

The petition ended the federal proceedings against Purdue, who filed for bankruptcy protection to deal with the wave of proceedings facing him.

Last month, as part of a settlement with the Justice Department, the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to face criminal and civil penalties of approximately $ 8.3 billion. A federal bankruptcy judge in New York approved the deal last week.

The settlement included a $ 3.54 billion fine and a $ 2 billion forfeiture of profits. The ministry said it was the largest fine imposed on pharmaceutical companies.

However, the federal government is unlikely to receive most of the fines, given that Purdue will pay other creditors first under a bankruptcy restructuring agreement. In bankruptcy proceedings, creditors usually collect only pennies in dollars for what they owe.

The owner of the company, a member of the wealthy Sackler family, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $ 225 million as part of the settlement, but was not held criminally liable. OxyContin’s sales helped Sacklers build a fortune estimated at at least $ 13 billion. This is the amount that reduces the fine.

However, the settlement agreement does not prevent the federal government from investigating criminal accusations against Purdue University executives or Sackler’s family involved in the company.

The reconciliation gave the Trump administration a remarkable victory in the fight against opioid addiction, but Purdue also pushed to resolve federal law issues while President Trump was still in office, and his officials were renewed. He expected to close a more generous deal than the administration.

Attorney Generals in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and other states said the federal reconciliation did not do enough to seek clarification from the Sacklers.

When the settlement was announced, Purdue “did everything they could to complete this deal in this administration,” said Joe Rice, a local negotiator suing Purdue. “It’s good for both sides.”

The company’s board said last month that it regretted its actions and accepted liability “for the illegal activity detailed by the Justice Department,” but said it still faced legal action. Members of the Suckler family who served “acted ethically and legally.”

The statement added that these families “relied on repetitive and consistent guarantees from Purdue’s management that the company met all legal requirements.”

OxyContin was introduced to the market in the mid-1990s as a miraculous, non-addictive analgesic. It was inaccurate, and as more doctors prescribed it, people across the country became addicted to the drug. Increased demand has created a fast-growing market for illicit prescriptions and pharmacies that are only at the forefront of oxycontin sales, which is also a greater tragedy of addiction to illicit opioids such as heroin and illegally obtained fentanyl. Helped to fuel.

The federal settlement does not end all proceedings facing Purdue, but ends ongoing investigations and proceedings involving other pharmaceutical companies and distributors accused of contributing to the opioid addiction crisis. But not.

Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to role in opioid crisis

Source link Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to role in opioid crisis

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