OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges, the Justice Department said Wednesday in announcing an $8.3 billion deal that settles the federal investigation of how the company marketed opioids, Politico reports. Those charges include conspiracy to defraud the US and violating federal anti-kickback laws. The New York Times calls the deal "a significant advance in the long legal march by states, cities, and counties to compel the most prominent defendant in the opioid epidemic to help pay for the public health crisis." No company owners or execs will serve jail time, but the deal does not release any of them from future criminal prosecution in relation to the company's opioid marketing strategy. More:
- The AP calls it the highest-profile display yet of the federal government seeking to hold a major drugmaker responsible for an opioid addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 470,000 deaths in the country since 2000.
- The statement from the Purdue board chair Steve Miller: "Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice in the agreed statement of facts."