Activist Nan Goldin has no plans to stop her campaign against the wealthy Sackler family which owns the company that manufactures Oxycontin, despite the $8.3 billion settlement that Purdue Pharma reached with the Justice Department.
“I’d like to see them go to jail,” Nan Goldin, the famed photographer and founder of the activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), said in an interview with Brian Ross Investigates on the Law&Crime Network.
“This isn’t a win. It’s a spin. There is no justice in this case,” Goldin said. “They’re walking away with a tiny fine.”
Purdue Pharma has agreed to plead guilty to three felony counts. But the deal does not include criminal charges against any executives or the family that owns the company, the Sacklers.
Goldin and her group targeted the publicity-shy Sackler family with a series of protests at prominent American museums which took tens of millions of dollars from the family. The Sackler name is attached to museum wings and halls around the world.
Some members of the family reportedly moved out of New York because of the attention Goldin and her group P.A.I.N. raised in the Sackler family social circles.
“No one’s being held accountable for it. No one is being charged with encouraging doctors to prescribe OxyContin unnecessarily when it wasn’t medically appropriate,” said Barry Meier, the author of Pain Killer: A Wonder Drug’s Trail of Addiction and Death. “After 20 years, it’s time to have this adjudicated in a courtroom rather than in a back room.”
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the settlement “will redress past wrongs, and will also provide extraordinary new resources for treatment and care of those affected by opioid addiction.” But activists and experts worry that the money will not be fully collected because of the company’s bankruptcy.
“Much of this 8 billion dollars is a fantasy figure. They’re not going to collect most of it because Purdue is in bankruptcy. So why not just go to court? Let the truth come out,” Meier said.
As part of the settlement, Purdue Pharma has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding the United States and violating the anti-kickback statute by paying doctors to induce them to write more prescriptions for the company’s opioids, according to the officials.
The settlement includes a criminal fine of $3.54 billion, criminal forfeiture of $2 billion and a civil settlement of $2.8 billion.
Members of the Sackler family, in a statement issued after the settlement, said they have “deep compassion for people who suffer from opioid addiction and abuse and hope the proposal will be implemented as swiftly as possible to help address their critical needs.”
They denied criminal and civil culpability and said the following in the statement: “No member of the Sackler family was involved in that conduct or served in a management role at Purdue during that time period.”
[Image via Law&Crime Network]
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