OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges yesterday for its role in the opioid epidemic. In a virtual hearing yesterday, the company acknowledged that it impeded DEA efforts to combat the crisis, did not maintain an effective program to prevent drugs from reaching the black market, and paid illegal kickbacks to doctors and vendors as an incentive to prescribe opioids.
More context: The plea was announced as part of a broader settlement with the Justice Department in October, which included $8B in penalties and called for the company to transfer its assets to a “public benefit company” that would donate profits toward opioid abatement programs. The settlement still requires approval in bankruptcy court.
Extra: The US opioid crisis claimed over 400k lives from 1999 to 2017.