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OxyContin maker to plead guilty

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/21/20, 02:06 pm

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced that Purdue Pharma agreed to a more than $8 billion settlement for charges related to the opioid epidemic. The pharmaceutical company will plead guilty to three criminal counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws.

What did the company do? Experts say abuse of Purdue Pharma’s prescription painkiller OxyContin contributed to the deaths of more than 470,000 people in the United States since 2000. The company admitted it reported misleading information to the Drug Enforcement Agency by claiming it was working to avoid drug diversion while ignoring red flags in its own system. Some state attorneys general think the U.S. government went too easy on Purdue. A criminal investigation into the Sackler family, which owned and led the company, is ongoing.

Dig deeper: Read Marty VanDriel’s review of a documentary about one father who dug into the painkiller industry after his son died of an overdose.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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