World News – US – OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead three criminal charges

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WASHINGTON – Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, the potent prescription pain reliever that experts say helped spark an opioid epidemic, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges in connection with over $ 8 billion in settlement, Justice Department officials said on Wednesday

The company will plead guilty to three counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-bribery laws, officials said The resolution will be detailed in a bankruptcy filing in federal court

The deal does not release any of the company’s executives or owners – members of the wealthy Sackler family – from criminal liability, and a criminal investigation is underway But a state attorney general said the deal did not hold the Sacklers responsible

The settlement is the most high-profile protest to date by the federal government seeking to hold a major drug manufacturer responsible for a crisis of opioid addiction and overdose linked to more than 470,000 deaths in the country since 2000

The deal comes less than two weeks before a presidential election where the opioid epidemic has taken political seat amid the coronavirus pandemic and other issues But it gives President Donald Trump’s administration an example of action on the drug addiction crisis, which he promised at the start of his term

To Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the Justice Department « failed » and she said in a statement she was not done with Purdue or the Sacklers « Justice in this case requires to expose the truth and to hold the perpetrators accountable, and not to rush a regulation to beat an election ”, she declared

As part of the resolution, Purdue admits to hampering the Drug Enforcement Administration by falsely stating that it maintained an effective program to prevent drug diversion and by reporting misleading information to the agency to increase quotas manufacturing company, officials told me

A Justice Department official said Purdue told the DEA it had « robust controls » in place to prevent opioid diversion, but instead « ignored red flags that their own systems sent »

According to officials

Purdue to make direct payment to government of $ 225 million, part of larger criminal confiscation of $ 2 billion In addition to this forfeiture, Purdue also faces a $ 3.54 billion fine criminal, although this money is unlikely to be fully collected as it will be caught in bankruptcy, which includes a large number of other creditors Purdue will also accept $ 2.8 billion in damages to resolve its civil liability

Purdue would transform into a public utility, meaning it would be governed by a trust that must balance the interests of the trust with those of U.S. public and public health, officials said The Sacklers would not be involved in the new company, and part of the settlement money would go to help with medically assisted treatment and other programs to fight the opioid epidemic, officials said. This arrangement reflects a key element of the company’s proposal to settle approximately 3,000 lawsuits from state, local and Native American tribal governments.

As part of the plea deal, the company admits that it broke federal law and « knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with others to help and abet » drug dispensing by doctors « without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice », according to a copy of the plea agreement obtained by the PA

The company is also required to cooperate with the ongoing federal investigation and possible further prosecutions

But even before the deal was announced, he faced resistance from state attorneys general, Democratic members of Congress and lawyers who wrote to Attorney General William Barr asking him not to conclude the market with business and family They said it did not hold them properly accountable and they expressed concerns about certain details

“Millions of American families affected by the opioid epidemic are looking to you and your Justice Department for sleepless nights worrying about sons and daughters trapped in unrest linked to substance use, justice for jobs lost and lives ruined, and justice for the lives of loved ones lost to overdose, ”wrote 38 Democratic members of Congress « If the only practical consequence of your department’s investigation is that a handful of billionaires are slightly less wealthy, we are concerned that the American people may lose confidence in the department’s ability to ensure accountability and equal justice in under the law »

The Sackler family has already pledged to hand over the company itself plus at least $ 3 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits against the Stamford, Connecticut-based drugmaker The company – but not the family – has filed for bankruptcy in order to develop this plan, which could be worth $ 10 billion in time

About half of the states oppose this settlement and have also written to Barr asking him not to go through with the federal deal that includes the conversion of Purdue to a utility company They say it would be wrong for governments to rely on revenue from the sale of more OxyContin to fund programs to ease the toll of an opioid crisis caused by prescription drugs as well as heroin and illicitly produced fentanyl

With the terms of the agreement with the Department of Justice, the federal government strongly supports the idea of ​​a version of Purdue that would continue as a « public benefit corporation » if this plan does not end being at the heart of the bankruptcy court reorganization, the US could get Purdue to pay him more, which could potentially demolish any other settlement arrangement

State governments opposing the regulations are lobbying bankruptcy court for documents that would specify how much the Sackler family members have made from the sale of OxyContin over the years

The Sackler family were once among the richest in the country by Forbes magazine A 2019 court case said they had made up to $ 13 billion over the years from the blockbuster drug, although ‘lawyer said they made much less after tax and reinvestment in the business

Until recently, the family name was featured in museum galleries and educational programs around the world due to gifts from family members. But under pressure from activists, from the Louvre institutions in Paris to the ‘Tufts University in Massachusetts have split off from the family in recent years

This isn’t the first time Purdue has admitted wrongdoing: the company and three executives pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in 2007 and paid more than $ 630 million in settlements But after that, the drug addiction crisis in the country got even worse

As the most well-known prescription opioid maker, Purdue is the most prominent player in the opioid crisis, but it is far from the other Trials against other manufacturers and drug distributors planned for this year have been postponed due to the coronavirus

Purdue Pharma, Oxycodone, Opioid, United States Department of Justice, Associated Press

World news – United States – OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma advocates for 3 criminal charges



SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/world-news-us-oxycontin-maker-purdue-pharma-to-plead-three-criminal-charges/?remotepost=447410

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