May 10, 2007
The maker of Oxycontin, along with a three current and former executives, pleaded guilty Thursday to misleading the public about the risk of addiction to the drug.
U.S. Attorney John Brownlee says that the president of Purdue Pharma L-P, its top lawyer, and its former chief medical officer, will pay more than $634 million in fines.
According to Brownlee, the company gave false information about the potential for addiction to sales representatives after physicians told the company in 1995 about concerns for abuse of the drug.
The drug became a major problem in southwest Virginia and other areas of the Appalachian region.
The fines will be distributed among state and federal law enforcement agencies, federal and state Medicaid programs, a Virginia prescription monitoring program and individuals who sued the company.