Purdue Pharma has pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from their role in the opioid crisis.
The Oxycontin manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, has been embattled by state, city, and federal officials for years. Lawsuits have revealed the extent of their wrongdoing, from basically bribing doctors to nonchalance about overdose deaths. Finally, Purdue Pharma is facing the music, giving up eight billion dollars to be split among plaintiffs. The business itself will be given to federal authorities and operate for “the public good.”
The Charges Against Purdue
The federal government pursued criminal charges that were settled through a monetary agreement of 8 billion dollars, including the business’s surrender. While some individual doctors and salespeople (usually middlemen) got reduced charges for testifying, no individuals from the company have been charged as criminals, to the chagrin of many plaintiffs.
The plea deal does not release the Sackler family, who owned Purdue Pharma, from liability. However, most experts agree it’s unlikely they will be charged in criminal court.
According to officials familiar with the case, Purdue Pharma, the business, plans to plead guilty to three counts that include conspiracy to defraud the United States and violate federal anti-kickback laws. Details will be available when the business files for bankruptcy.
Lawsuits Have Been Going On For Years
For several years, lawsuits have plagued Purdue Pharma. Discovery from those lawsuits told a sordid tale of greed and power. Purdue and other go-betweens pressured Doctors, and some doctors, in turn, even pressured their patients. When they helped boost sales, they got taken out for fancy dinners or paid to speak at tiny conferences where they were paid handsomely.
State governments, city governments, and other officials have been suing Purdue for years over their opioid epidemic role. As makers of Oxycontin, they were aware of the addiction risks. Yet they continued to call the drugs safe and push their prescribing.
Where Will Purdue’s Money Go?
Money from the class-action lawsuit will be distributed to states and other local governments. There will also be a certain amount of money going to the federal government for trial costs. Once the dollar amounts are settled, governments are expected to allocate the funds for addiction prevention, treatment, and other public health issues surrounding the opioid crisis.
The business, however, will remain in place and profitable. Regardless, the government will be providing oversight and making decisions on their behalf, and the profits will be reinvested in the business.