Purdue Pharma, the maker of the powerful prescription opioid OxyContin, has agreed to a criminal and civil settlement with the U.S. Justice Department worth over $8.3 billion.
The company will plead guilty to three felony counts, including two counts of violating federal anti-kickback laws, and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
In the plea agreement, the company admitted it “knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with others to aid and abet” doctors dispensing medication “without a legitimate medical purpose.”
Collecting the $8 billion will be like squeezing blood from a turnip because the company went bankrupt last year.
The billionaire Sackler family, who owns Purdue Pharma, agreed to pay $225 million as part of a civil settlement.
The civil settlement does not protect Purdue executives or employees from future criminal liability.
If the court approves, the Sackler family will give up control of Purdue and when it emerges from bankruptcy it will be turned into a public benefit corporation focused on making drugs to tackle the opioid crisis — treating addiction and reversing overdoses — and donating or offering them at a steep discount.
Source: Financial Times