‘Why did it take so long?’ Purdue Pharma pleads guilty in opioid epidemic case

Stamford-based Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges – admitting its role in the opioid epidemic.

News 12 Staff

Nov 24, 2020, 10:39 PM

Updated 1,336 days ago

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Stamford-based Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges – admitting its role in the opioid epidemic.
The company admitted to impeding the DEA's efforts to combat the addiction crisis and acknowledged that it had not maintained an effective program to prevent prescription drugs from being diverted to the black market. It also admitted paying doctors through a speaker’s program to induce them to write more prescriptions for its painkillers.
Teri Kroll, a Lindenhurst mother who lost her 23-year-old son Timothy in 2009, asked, “Why did it take so long?”
Her son died of a heroin overdose years after Kroll says he became addicted to pain pills pushed by a doctor.
The guilty pleas are part of a criminal and civil settlement announced last month. The deal includes more than $8 billion in penalties, but the company may only pay a fraction of that depending on the outcome of a federal bankruptcy case.
“You cannot put a monetary value on my son's life,” Kroll told News 12. “They will never be able…to repay the damage they've done.”
Members of the Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma have also agreed to pay $225 million to the federal government to settle civil claims. No criminal charges have been filed against family members though that is still a possibility in the future.
“Every cent of money that is extracted from this family and that company should go to substance abuse prevention and education in every school,” says Steve Chassman, of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence.
The federal settlement and the company’s proposed settlement in bankruptcy court are opposed by the attorneys general in several states.


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