This corresponds to around NOK 73 billion. Both the fines and an admission of guilt were part of a settlement.
The company has in practice paid doctors to prescribe more prescriptions for Oxycontin. It is owned by the Sackler family, which has previously been considered one of the richest in the United States.
The company has now declared bankruptcy as part of a plan to handle several thousand lawsuits.
Since the company also has other creditors, it is uncertain whether all fines will be paid to US authorities.
“The abuse of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and death,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, according to ABC News.
Over 470,000 deaths
In 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national health crisis in the United States.
Families and communities have been hit by the crisis, which in 2017 claimed 70,000 overdose deaths in the United States.
More than 470,000 people have had to pay with their lives after becoming addicted to painkillers since 2000.
The most well-known opioid drug is Oxycontin, which is manufactured by the American company Purdue Pharma.
They have admitted that they have misinformed doctors and patients about the effects of the drug.
“It all started with painkillers,” said Dawn Mason of Hedgesville.
when NRK met her earlier this year.
This year, several verdicts have already been handed down against the pharmaceutical companies, which have been accused of creating an addiction crisis in the country.
John Kapoor, the founder of the American pharmaceutical company Insys, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for contributing to the opioid crisis.
Kapoor was indicted in May. According to the indictment, Insys paid doctors to prescribe the company’s addictive and painkiller Subsys to patients who did not need them.
The 76-year-old was then the first owner of a pharmaceutical company to have to make amends in these cases.
The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson was then in August last year sentenced to pay more than 5.1 billion kroner in fines for having contributed to the opioid crisis.
Billion lawsuit against producer of painkillers
However, the authorities in several US states believe that the settlement reached with Purdue Pharma is not good enough – partly because the Sackler family escapes too cheaply.
“In this case, the truth must be revealed and the perpetrators held accountable,” said Maura Healey at the Attorney General’s office in Massachusetts.
– Today’s agreement does not make up for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by Purdue Pharma.
“Instead, it allows billionaires to keep their billions without giving an account of how much they really earned,” commented Letitia James at the Attorney General’s Office in New York.
Thomas Seltzer also addresses the opioid crisis in the United States in an episode of the series “UXA – Thomas Seltzer’s America”:
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