Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal criminal charges related to nation’s opioid crisis
Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges related to the company’s role in creating the nation’s opioid crisis.
Purdue Pharma board chairman Steve Miller pleaded guilty on behalf of the company during a virtual federal court hearing in front of US District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo.
The counts include one 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.
In pleading guilty to the criminal charges, the company is taking responsibility for past misconduct, Purdue Pharma said in a statement to CNN Tuesday.
“Having our plea accepted in federal court, and taking responsibility for past misconduct, is an essential step to preserve billions of dollars of value for creditors and advance our goal of providing financial resources and lifesaving medicines to address the opioid crisis,” the statement said.
“We continue to work tirelessly to build additional support for a proposed bankruptcy settlement, which would direct the overwhelming majority of the settlement funds to state, local and tribal governments for the purpose of abating the opioid crisis.”
The plea deal announced in October includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical manufacturer, including a criminal fine of $3.544 billion and an additional $2 billion in criminal forfeiture, according to a Department of Justice press release.
The company will be dissolved as a part of the plea agreement.
The Sackler family, and other current and former employees and owners of the company, still face the possibility that federal criminal charges will be filed against them.
The court did not set a date for a sentencing hearing.
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