Purdue Pharma reaches agreement with DOJ over opioid medicines

22 October 2020 (Last Updated October 22nd, 2020 12:15)

Purdue Pharma has reached a $8.3bn settlement agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve multi-year civil and criminal investigations into its past marketing practices related to its opioid medicines.

Purdue Pharma reaches agreement with DOJ over opioid medicines
Purdue accepted responsibility for specified misconduct that took place before June 2017. Credit: Halacious on Unsplash.

Purdue Pharma has reached an $8.3bn settlement agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve multi-year civil and criminal investigations into its past marketing practices related to its opioid medicines.

The company also accepted responsibility for specified misconduct that took place prior to June 2017.

Furthermore, it agreed to resolve claims regarding conduct between 2007 and February 2018 by pleading guilty and paying fines and forfeiture.

The move comes after the DOJ sought approximately $13bn in criminal and civil penalties in August from Purdue over opioid claims filed against the company.

US DOJ Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said: “With criminal guilty pleas, a federal settlement of more than $8bn and the dissolution of a company and repurposing its assets entirely for the public’s benefit, the resolution in today’s announcement re-affirms that the Department of Justice will not relent in its multi-pronged efforts to combat the opioids crisis.”

Also, a major share of the settlement funds will be directed to state, local and tribal governments to address the opioid crisis.

Viewing the resolution as an important step in the bankruptcy process, Purdue plans to shift powers to a new company operating under different ownership.

Purdue Pharma board chairman Steve Miller said: “Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice in the agreed statement of facts.

“The settlement agreement will pave the way for Purdue to submit a plan of reorganisation to the bankruptcy court that will transfer all of Purdue’s assets to a public benefit company and ultimately deliver more than $10bn in value to claimants and communities.”

Furthermore, the latest agreement with DOJ will be submitted to the bankruptcy court for review and approval.

Under the deal, the company’s $225m payment is deferred until the entry of the judgment of conviction, expected to take place after the bankruptcy court approves reorganisation plans.