The OxyContin manufacturer will pay the government $225 million and own up to misleading the DEA and incentivizing doctors to write prescriptions.
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According to AP, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma intends to plead guilty to three federal charges levied by the Department of Justice. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States — for misleading the Drug Enforcement Administration — and violation of federal anti-kickback laws vis a vis illegal incentivization programs with doctors.
Purdue, which is owned by the controversial billionaire Sackler family, will immediately remit a $225 million fine to the government, AP reports. But that’s a small piece of billions in total criminal- and civil-liability damages Purdue may still be on the hook for, pending the outcome of a hotly contested bankruptcy hearing.
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The pharmaceutical powerhouse, which has innovated numerous prescription painkillers, has become emblematic of the opiod crisis that’s enveloped American lives over the past decade-plus. Opiod-induced overdose deaths more than doubled between 2010-2017, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As of 2013, the Sackler family’s worth was estimated at more than $13 billion.