Purdue finally settles with DOJ

Oct. 21, 2020

Purdue Pharma has agreed to settle its criminal and civil investigations with the Justice Department to the tune of $8.34 billion. 

Under the agreement, Purdue will plead guilty to three charges related to its handling of OxyContin, the prescription painkiller that helped fuel the U.S.’s opioid epidemic.

The eye-popping level of fees amounting to more than $8 billion will mostly go unpaid however. Last year, the company filed for bankruptcy and its assets fall well short of $8 billion. Instead, Purdue will pay about $225 million to the federal government. 

The billionaire Sackler family which owns Purdue is also expected to pay $225 million to resolve civil claims. Although the Sacklers have not been criminally charged, the agreement does not prevent criminal charges down the road. The DOJ, in fact, is conducting a separate investigation into individuals associated with Purdue that is ongoing.

There are still thousands of lawsuits being levied against companies involved in opioid production and distribution. Several states and counties are reportedly working on negotiations for a major settlement involving three drug distributors and J&J. 

Read the Wall Street Journal report.