Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty To Supplying Opioids In US Overdose Crisis - Justice Dept.

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 25th November, 2020) Purdue Pharma admitted guilt to three criminal charges of making and distributing opioids in a campaign that led to an overdose epidemic in the United States, the US Justice Department said in a press release.

"Purdue pleaded guilty to an Information charging it with three felony offenses: one count of dual-object conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and two counts of conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute," the release said on Tuesday.

For more than two decades, Purdue marketed its synthetic opioid product Oxycontin as a pain reliever, despite knowing the drugs were likely being diverted to drug abusers, the release said.

Purdue also admitted conspiring with an electronic medical records company to promote its opioids to doctors, the release also said.

The US opioid overdose crisis peaked in 2017 with about 45,000 opioid-related overdose deaths followed by a small decline the following year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday's admission of guilt follows a deal with prosecutors announced in October that includes one of the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical manufacturer, including a criminal fine of $3.54 billion and an additional $2 billion forfeiture penalty, the release said.

In addition, the plea bargain requires dissolution of the company while leaving owners and former officials liable for additional criminal charges and lawsuits by individual states, according to the release.