World Purdue Pharma admits to crimes for its OxyContin marketing. But no one is going to prison.
Death of a woman in Cairo suburb sparks anger in Egypt
The incident sparked anger across Egypt after it was initially reported by several media outlets as a sex crime.The move on Wednesday came after Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest of the perpetrators as investigations revealed the victim – identified as Mariam, in her 20s – had been killed while walking home from work in Maadi, a calm south Cairo suburb.
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached an $8 billion settlement with the federal government in which it pleads guilty in a criminal investigation over its role in the, the US Department of Justice Wednesday.
As part of the settlement, Purdue will plead guilty to three counts related to its misleading marketing of opioid painkillers and faces a $3.5 billion criminal fine, $2 billion in criminal forfeitures, and a $2.8 billion civil settlement.
Inside the COVID Unit at the World’s Largest Women’s Prison
Kandice Ortega cleaned the tables and phones in building 503 with a sanitary pad. There were no fresh rags, but she didn’t want to live in filth — cleanliness had taken on a new, pressing importance. Like many, Ortega worried about getting COVID-19. But unlike much of the country, Ortega had few options to limit her exposure. She is incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), the largest women’s prison in the world. When CCWFLike many, Ortega worried about getting COVID-19. But unlike much of the country, Ortega had few options to limit her exposure. She is incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), the largest women’s prison in the world.
Purdue admits it illegally and misleadingly marketed its opioids, including “to more than 100 health care providers whom the company had good reason to believe were diverting opioids” for misuse; illegally paid doctors to prescribe more opioids; and took part in other fraudulent and illegal practices. Purdue says it did all of this between 2007 and at least 2017 — after ain 2007 forced the company to pay more than $600 million in fines.
But no one — neither the company’s executives nor members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue — will go to jail or prison as a result of the settlement.
Despite the settlement, it’s unclear how much Purdue will actually pay. The company is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings, with claims from other people to whom it effectively owes money. The federal government is only one of many entities that Purdue’s holdings will likely be divvied up among.
Purdue pleads guilty in $8bn opioid settlement
The landmark deal with the US Department of Justice settles the most serious claims against the OxyContin-maker.The settlement with the US Department of Justice resolves the most serious claims against Purdue Pharma.
The Justice Department also threw its support behind athat would turn Purdue into a public benefit company overseen by new leadership, with proceeds from OxyContin and other drugs purportedly going to help victims of the opioid crisis. Purdue previously proposed the deal to settle thousands of lawsuits against it, including from local and state governments, over its role in the opioid crisis.
Dozens of states have rejected that deal. They argue that it lets the Sacklers off the hook, since they’d remain very wealthy and out of prison, and that using revenue from OxyContin sales to fund efforts to stop the opioid crisis presents a conflict of interest.
Some critics also claim that the Justice Department’s settlement is a political ploy before Election Day — to shore up.
“DOJ failed,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “Justice in this case requires exposing the truth and holding the perpetrators accountable, not rushing a settlement to beat an election. I am not done with Purdue and the Sacklers, and I will never sell out the families who have been calling for justice for so long.”
Fresh unrest in Nigeria's Lagos after shooting of protesters
Gunshots were fired, shops were looted and a prison was set ablaze as fresh violence rocked Nigeria's biggest city Lagos on Thursday after the shooting of protesters that drew international outrage. The economic hub of 20 million has descended into chaos since Tuesday when security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters calling for better governance and an end to police brutality. Amnesty International said Nigerian soldiers and police gunned down 12 demonstrators, while 56 have died overall across the country since a wave of protests began on October 8.
The Justice Department said the settlement with Purdue doesn’t release anyone, including the Sackler family, from criminal liability — meaning they could be prosecuted and incarcerated in the future. A criminal investigation into the Sacklers is ongoing, according to the.
It does, however, free Purdue and the Sacklers from the federal government’s civil claims. But states and others can continue pursuing civil litigation.
Besides Purdue, other opioid makers and distributors currently face criminal investigations and civil lawsuits. Earlier this year, the founder and former CEO of opioid maker Insys, John Kapoor, was. Other opioid businesses, including , also face criminal charges.
Opioid companies have fueled the drug overdose crisis
Since 1999, nearly 500,000 people have died from opioid overdoses — either on painkillers themselves, or in many cases heroin or illicit fentanyl through a drug addiction that began with painkillers. Pharmaceutical companies were at the forefront of causing the crisis with aggressive marketing that pushed doctors to prescribe more painkillers. That put the drugs not just in the hands of patients but also of friends and family of patients, teens who took the drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets, and people who bought excess pills from the black market.
Walmart sues US government in dispute linked to opioid crisis
Retail giant Walmart filed suit Thursday against the US Justice Department over what it said was an unfair attempt to hold it legally responsible for certain sales of opioid drugs. The lawsuit is the latest legal battle linked to the opioid crisis in the United States, where widespread abuse has led to government efforts to address the problem and hold drugmakers accountable. In its lawsuit brought before a federal court in Texas, the US retailer says its pharmacists and pharmacies were being put "in an untenable position" by the government.
Studies have linked marketing for opioids toand .
With OxyContin, Purdue — and the Sacklers — led the charge on this kind of marketing. They claimed that their opioid painkiller, which first hit the market in 1996, was safe and effective, both claims whichby the real-world and scientific evidence.
Among Purdue’s alleged crimes, according to the Justice Department:
- “Purdue learned that one doctor was known by patients as ‘the Candyman’ and was prescribing ‘crazy dosing of OxyContin,’ yet Purdue had sales representatives meet with the doctor more than 300 times.”
- “The Named Sacklers then approved a new marketing program beginning in 2013 called ‘Evolve to Excellence,’ through which Purdue sales representatives intensified their marketing of OxyContin to extreme, high-volume prescribers who were already writing ‘25 times as many OxyContin scripts’ as their peers, causing health care providers to prescribe opioids for uses that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary, and that often led to abuse and diversion.”
- “Between June 2009 and March 2017, Purdue made payments to two doctors through Purdue’s doctor speaker program to induce those doctors to write more prescriptions of Purdue’s opioid products. Similarly, from approximately April 2016 through December 2016, Purdue made payments to Practice Fusion Inc., an electronic health records company, in exchange for referring, recommending, and arranging for the ordering of Purdue’s extended release opioid products — OxyContin, Butrans, and Hysingla.”
The Sacklers, for their part, continue to deny culpability for the opioid epidemic. The family claimed in a statement, “Members of the Sackler family who served on Purdue’s board of directors acted ethically and lawfully, and the upcoming release of company documents will prove that fact in detail. This history of Purdue will also demonstrate that all financial distributions were proper.”
Walmart sues United States government over opioid case
[NFA] Thursday night's face-off may be one of Republican President Donald Trump's last opportunities to sway voters ahead of an election in which polls show him trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden. This report produced by Zachary Goelman.
Of course, many people simply don’t believe this. They point to the— not just in the federal government’s case but in the — that indicates the Sacklers were heavily involved in Purdue’s marketing for OxyContin.
Now, some critics are calling not just for Purdue to face criminal culpability, but for the company’s executives and the Sacklers, too. They argue that prison time is necessary, because fines that add up to a fraction of a company or family’s wealth aren’t enough to send a message.
“If [the Sacklers] have the perception — and it’s the correct perception — that ‘people like us just don’t go to jail, we just don’t, so the worst that’s going to happen is you take some reputational stings and you’ll have to write a check,’ that seems like a recipe for nurturing criminality,” Stanford drug policy expert Keith Humphreys.
For now, though, the Sacklers and other Purdue executives continue to escape that level of punishment.
For more on the case for prosecuting opioid executives,.
Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world:
The Trump-Scam-Industrial-Complex Now Extends to Snapchat .
The third largest political advertiser on Snapchat this year isn’t a political campaign, party, or interest group. It’s a mysterious marketing company hawking “free” Trump merchandise that legions of angry customers say is just a hook to get their credit card numbers and begin extracting money. The company, Albbiom Marketing, has reported paying about $418,000 this year for Snapchat ads that were viewed more than 435 million times, according to the platform’s political advertising database. Only two Snapchat advertisers have received more impressions: Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and the anti-smoking group Truth.