The DOJ has announced that Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, the opioid painkiller which had a big role in the U.S. opioid epidemic, has agreed to plead guilty to three federal criminal charges in addition to paying $8.3 billion. The agreement does not exonerate the Sackler family from their involvement and an investigation is still underway.
The plea includes admissions of guilt in regards to charges that Purdue conspired to defraud the United States; to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; and to violate anti-kickback laws. Given that Purdue is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings in the NY district, that court must approve the settlement. Its implementation would include the dissolution of the existing company and the creation instead of a public benefit company to be managed by a trust. The new company will continue manufacturing medicines but will also provide additional resources to combat the opioid addiction such as counseling programs and prescription drug treatments. The Sackler family and current owners of Purdue Pharma will not be part of the new company.