Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Purdue Pharma settles opioid probes for $8.34 billion, but lacks assets to pay it all; claims by states totaled $2 trillion
Purdue Pharma has agreed to an $8.34 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, resolving longstanding federal criminal and civil cases against the company for how it marketed and distributed OxyContin. "Purdue has agreed to plead guilty to three counts related to payments to health-care providers and other actions. The deal doesn’t prevent the government from prosecuting owners or employees of Purdue in the future," Sara Randazzo reports for The Wall Street Journal.
The deal helps "clear the way for the bankrupt drugmaker to turn over future profits to cities and states that accuse it of fueling the opioid crisis," Randazzo reports. "The final price tag for Purdue, however, is largely symbolic: Because the company’s assets fall well short of $8 billion, it will pay $225 million and the federal government is expected to cede most of the rest to allow more money to flow to states, counties and Native American tribes." The Justice Department reached a separate settlement with the Sackler family, Purdue's owners; they will pay another $225 million to resolve civil claims.