US Authorities Threaten Purdue Pharma With $13 Billion In Fines For The Opioid Crisis
The US Attorney General's office may impose penalties on Purdue Pharma for the involvement of this American pharmaceutical company in the opioid crisis in the US, according to FOX Business, referring to documents sent last week to the Bankruptcy Court in White Plains (New York).
Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in September last year. Declaring the company bankrupt is one of the stages in the process of settling about 2 thousand lawsuits filed against it by the authorities of American cities, States and districts, some of which are combined in larger cases. The essence of the accusations against the pharmaceutical company that produces the powerful painkiller OxyContin is that the sales policy that Purdue Pharma conducted, at least in part provoked the so-called opioid crisis in the United States, the victims of which were at least 400 thousand people over the past 20 years. Besides, prosecutors insist that the company's management intentionally enriched itself by selling dangerous and addictive opioid-based painkillers.
According to the Agency, the amount mentioned above is the maximum amount of fines that the Prosecutor General's office has the right to issue. The actual size will be much smaller.
The opioid crisis, which experts consider one of the most important problems in the US health sector, dates back to the 1990s, but a unified strategy to combat drugs has not yet been developed. According to estimates of the medical publication STAT, if urgent measures are not taken, about 500 thousand people may die from opioid overdose in the United States over the next ten years. Approximately the same number of Americans have died from the human immunodeficiency virus from 1980 to the present.
US President Donald Trump, in the spring of 2017, ordered the creation of the US Presidential Commission to combat the opioid crisis and, on October 26, 2018, assigned the opioid crisis the status of a health emergency. This includes the adoption of a set of measures to help drug addicts and counter the spread of drugs of this group on the black market.