The Justice Department announced it has reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. As part of the settlement, Purdue will plead guilty to one count of dual-object conspiracy to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and defraud the United States, and two counts of conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
The drugmaker will admit that it supplied misleading information to the Drug Enforcement Administration, allowing the company to boost its manufacturing quotas and flood the market with one of the drugs responsible for the opioid crisis.
The pharmaceutical company will have to pay a criminal fine of more than $3.5 billion, $2 billion in criminal forfeiture, and a $2.8 billion civil settlement. The Sackler family, which controls the company, will also have to pay $225 million to resolve civil claims. The settlement does not shield the family or company executives from being prosecuted in the future.
As part of the agreement, which will need to be approved by a bankruptcy court, Purdue Pharma will "be dissolved and won't exist in its current form."
"The abuse and diversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and deaths, in addition to those caused by illicit street opioids," said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen in a statement. "With criminal guilty pleas, a federal settlement of more than $8 billion, and the dissolution of a company and repurposing its assets entirely for the public's benefit, the resolution in today's announcement re-affirms that the Department of Justice will not relent in its multi-pronged efforts to combat the opioids crisis."
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