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Billionaire Sackler Family Gets No Jail Time in $8 Billion OxyContin Settlement

HeadlineOct 22, 2020

Purdue Pharma has agreed to an $8 billion settlement with the Justice Department over its illegal marketing of the powerful opioid OxyContin. Under the deal, the Purdue corporation will plead guilty to three criminal counts, but no one — not even members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue — will face any jail time. Purdue Pharma is in bankruptcy proceedings, making it likely the company will pay just a fraction of the $8 billion settlement.

As opioid abuse surged across the U.S., drug overdoses became the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50 — with more than 67,000 such deaths in 2018 alone.

In a statement, the advocacy group P.A.I.N. Sackler wrote, “This proves that there are two justice systems in America — one for billionaires and one for the rest of us. The Sacklers’ walking away from Purdue is a retirement, not a punishment.”

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