Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Tim Ryan (13th District Ohio)
October 21, 2020
Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) released the following statement in response to Purdue Pharma’s $8.3 billion opioid settlement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Ryan is the Chairman of the House Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus.
Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family perpetrated one of the most egregious criminal acts in American history, intentionally addicting millions of unsuspecting people to powerful painkillers for profit and directly contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.
“Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family in an effort to increase profit and grow their wealth pushed obscene amounts of opioids on unsuspecting Americans, intentionally causing millions to become addicted, and resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands. Today marks a milestone on our nation’s effort to reach justice for Americans impacted by this heinous criminal enterprise,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.
Purdue Pharma has agreed to plead guilty to three-counts related to its misleading marketing of opioid painkillers and faces a $3.5 billion criminal fine, $2 billion in criminal forfeitures, and a $2.8 billion civil settlement. This total amount of $8.3 billion includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical manufacturer. According to DOJ, this settlement will result in “extraordinary new resources” for treating substance use in communities across the country.
“I am pleased that Purdue Pharma will be forced to pay an unprecedented $8.3 billion in fines that will go to addressing the opioid epidemic, and look forward to using my position to ensure some of that funding comes to our community in Northeast Ohio. However, I am outraged that this settlement does not result in a single day of jail time for the Sackler family or company leaders. The Sacklers knowingly created and expanded the opioid epidemic for personal profit, then siphoned off billions of dollars into offshore bank accounts to ensure that they would still walk away as billionaires when their criminal enterprise finally came crumbling down. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Ryan continued.
This settlement will not result in prison time for the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, or other company officials – but according to the DOJ, this settlement does not preclude them from future prosecutions regarding Purdue Pharma’s actions. The settlement will restructure Purdue Pharma, and moving forward they will operate as a public trust under government control in their manufacturing of opioid medications.
Last week, Ryan led a delegation of 35 lawmaker in sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General expressing concern that this settlement would resolve all the Sackler family’s federal criminal liability without a single person serving a day in prison. Read more here.