Purdue Pharmaceutical Company Pleads Guilty

Image+of+Purdue+Pharma%E2%80%99s+patented+Oxycontin%2C+

Photographs courtesy of https://filmdaily.co/

Image of Purdue Pharma’s patented Oxycontin,

Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the addictive opioid OxyContin®, has just plead guilty to three federal charges for its role in the U.S. Opioid Crisis. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws. As of now, the company has confessed to misleading the Drug Enforcement Administration through false reports on drug diversion programs and offering doctors payouts to prescribe the drug.

            As part of the plea deal, the company has been ordered to pay $8 billion in fines. As the company filed for bankruptcy in 2019, they currently do not have the funds available. The current plan is for the company’s assets to be dissolved and handed to a government-run trust. Representatives from the Justice Department claim that the trust will operate to serve the public by producing discounted painkillers and overdose drugs. Any profits made by the company will support recovery efforts in impacted communities and continued scientific research.

            Criticism has been leveled at several aspects of the case. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called the plan a “a mere mirage of justice for the victims of Purdue’s callous misconduct,” as The Justice Department did not place any of the company’s executives in prison. As of now, cases against the Sackler family, the founders of Purdue Pharma, are still pending. The family has not received immunity from prosecution.  Criticism has also been leveled at the choice to continue profiting off OxyContin®. In response to these concerns, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen supported the plan, claiming that prescription painkillers still have legitimate uses.

            In 2018 the CDC reported 67,367 overdose deaths in America. Of those, 46,802 deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids, including Fentanyl and OxyContin®. If you or a loved one are experiencing opioid addiction, call the Illinois Helpline at 1-833-234-6343 or the American Addiction Centers Hotline at 866-745-3376.