It’s Not Just the Conviction — It’s Also the Consequences

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Attention: top executives in the healthcare industry. Take heed, or you could be forced to seek employment in a different industry, as three former top executives at Purdue Pharma recently found out.

In May 2007, Purdue Frederick, a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma L.P., pleaded guilty to felony misbranding of its painkiller drug, Oxycontin, as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors. The charges were that, over a five-year period, the company knowingly made misleading claims about the addictive nature of Oxycontin by claiming that it was less prone to abuse than similar drugs because it was a long-acting narcotic. The subsidiary was automatically debarred from receiving any new government contracts, but the parent company signed a non-prosecution agreement and paid $634 million to settle charges against it. It was able to avoid criminal prosecution and thus remain eligible for new government contracts.

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