US seeks up to $18.1B from Purdue Pharma

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking as much as $18.1 billion from Purdue Pharma over its marketing and distribution of opioids, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

New court filings viewed by the Journal show that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Purdue Pharma's marketing and distribution of opioids violated criminal statutes, including anti-kickback laws, misbranding under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and conspiracy.

The Justice Department is looking at whether Purdue Pharma offered kickbacks to physicians and pharmacies to encourage them to prescribe and dispense more OxyContin and whether the drugmaker transferred cash to hide money from creditors. 

The Justice Department valued the civil claims at $2.8 billion, which could be tripled, according to the Journal. If Purdue Pharma is convicted on criminal charges, the government said it would seek a $6.2 billion fine and forfeiture of potentially $3.5 billion more. 

A spokesperson for Purdue Pharma told the Journal the company is in discussions with the Justice Department to resolve criminal and civil investigations and that it had no further comment. 

The Justice Department declined to comment to the Journal

Read the full article here.

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