March 24, 2023

Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, the powerful prescription painkiller that experts say helped touch off an opioid epidemic, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials announced Wednesday.

This morning subject to court approval the department of justice is announcing a global resolution of our criminal and civil investigations into the opioid manufacturer purdue pharma as well as a civil resolution with members of the sackler family who comprise shareholders of the company before we address the specific terms i want to provide some context of

How today’s announcement fits into doj’s wider efforts to address the opioids crisis doj obviously has many long-standing and ongoing drug enforcement activities but during this administration we have augmented those with a series of new initiatives targeted at both illicit opioids like heroin or synthetic fentanyl and we’ve targeted the diversion and abuse

Of prescription opioids as well these are shown on the chart we have today this one over here where we show j code and operation sos on the illicit side of things and we show the pill task force the prescription and interdiction litigation task force arpo ofidu and healthcare fraud strike forces all on the prescription side and by all of these efforts we have

Targeted unlawful activity involving opioids at every level of the supply chains it’s very different supply chains on the illicit side and on the prescription side on the prescription side this means unlawful actions by manufacturers distributors pharmacy dispensers or physician prescribers for example so today’s announcement involves one of the most important

Participants in the supply chain of prescription opioids at the manufacturer level and a resolution which if approved by the court will redress past wrongs and will also provide extraordinary new resources for the treatment and care of those affected by opioids addiction the global settlement announced today involves the company pleading guilty to three felony

Counts for defrauding the united states and violating the anti-kickback statute from 2009 to 2017. in addition to the company having agreed to plead guilty to these three felony counts the company has agreed to a 3.544 billion dollar criminal fine and a two billion dollar criminal forfeiture amount further on top of those to resolve its civil liability purdue

Pharma has agreed to 2.8 billion dollars in damages to the united states now the company’s in bankruptcy so the corporate resolution is subject to the bankruptcy court’s approval if it’s approved this will be a corporate settlement in total of more than 8.3 billion dollars additionally members of the sackler family have agreed to pay 225 million dollars in a

Civil settlement that will provide civil releases only it’s also important to note that this resolution does not prohibit future criminal or civil penalties against purdue farmers executives or employees now this resolution must be understood against two larger contexts first the company’s bankruptcy and second as i’ve referenced the department of justice’s

Overarching work addressing the opioids crisis i’ll take the first one first the bankruptcy the company’s bankruptcy in the southern district of new york involves many creditors from some private creditors to federal state government and local creditors in general the creditors are aiming to ensure that nearly all of the proceeds of the bankruptcy go to opioid

Abatement programs and the department of justice generally supports that goal towards that end a key piece of today’s resolution is based on the future of the company that was purdue pharma the agreed resolution if approved by the court will require that the company be dissolved and no longer exist in its present form it would require that the sacklers must

Relinquish all ownership and control of the company or of any of its successors and the company’s assets would be transferred to a new public benefit company or pbc owned by a trust for the benefit of the american public the pbc would be charged with providing its medicines in a manner as safe and possible without diversions while providing millions of doses

Of medicines to treat opioids addiction and reverse overdoses and otherwise taking into account long-term public health interest and again to be clear the sackler family will have no role in creating or controlling the new pbc if the bankruptcy court approves this the department will credit the company for the value conferred through the pbc against the criminal

Forfeiture amount except for 225 million that will be paid to the united states on the bankruptcy effective date the criminal fines and civil damages would not be affected by this this global resolution builds on the department’s other recent opioid successes just as the department prosecutes illicit drug traffickers the department’s been committed to doing the

Same with respect to the abuse and diversion of prescription opioids we’ve prosecuted medical professionals who’ve contributed overdose deaths or run pill mills or defrauded the government’s health care programs we’ve prosecuted opioid distributors including mckesson miami luke and rochester drug cooperative we’ve reached substantial settlement resolutions with

Other manufacturers such as rb group and indivior as one example which was if i recall in the neighborhood of uh two billion dollars as well as another manufacturer insists these are all examples of the department’s unwavering commitment to turn the tide of the opioid crisis that’s ravaged the country today’s announcement focuses on the problems from wrongful

Activities in the prescription opioids realm so let me note that our efforts there appear to be making a difference the cdc reports that since 2017 prescription opioid overdose deaths have decreased by more than 18 percent in the first two years and there has been a 47 decline in prescription opioids being dispensed but we will continue all of our efforts including

Building on the record of more than 8 000 opioids prosecutions in 2019 and not only through enforcement for example the department’s office of justice programs awarded grants totaling more than 341 million dollars to help fight the addiction crisis looming over the united states let me also say today’s announcement is very much a success story in the close

Coordination between the u.s attorney’s offices in new jersey the u.s attorney’s office in vermont the civil divisions consumer protection branch and its civil fraud section and i also want to thank the important contributions of law enforcement including the fbi the dea and the health and human services office of inspector general all of whom would normally be

Here with us but because of the pandemic we’ve limited the number of people on the stage today so i want to thank this entire team for their relentless work in bringing about this investigation and bringing it to a successful resolution today’s announcement is also particularly timely given that october is national substance abuse prevention month and just a

Few days from now on october 24th is dea’s national prescription drug take back day which allows for a safe convenient and responsible means for disposing of unneeded prescription drugs that are sitting in medicine cabinets at homes keeping the american people safe is the department’s highest priority and as today’s announcement reaffirms the department will

Not relent in our efforts to combat the opioids problem

Transcribed from video
Oxycodone Maker Purdue Pharma Reaches $8.3 Billion Opioid Deal With DOJ By Bloomberg Quicktake Now