OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma to Plead to Three Criminal Charges

Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, the powerful prescription painkiller that experts say helped touch off an opioid epidemic, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials announced Wednesday.

The company will plead guilty to three counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws, the officials said. The resolution will be detailed in a bankruptcy court filing in federal court.

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Experts: Revamped OxyContin Hasn’t Curbed Abuse, Overdoses

A panel of government health advisers said Friday there’s no clear evidence that a harder-to-crush version of the painkiller OxyContin designed to discourage abuse actually resulted in fewer overdoses or deaths.

The conclusion from the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel comes more than a decade after Purdue Pharma revamped its blockbuster opioid, which has long been blamed for sparking a surge in painkiller abuse beginning in the 1990s.

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