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$600 Million Fine for OxyContin Manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

Purdue Pharma LP, a private US drug firm, agreed to over 600 million dollars after pleading guilty Thursday to minimizing the risks of its OxyContin pain tablets, government prosecutors said.

The Justice Department said Purdue and some of its top executives pleaded guilty to "misbranding" OxyContin which the government described as an "addictive and highly abusable drug."

The FDA informed healthcare professionals of criminal charges and civil liabilities brought against Purdue Frederick in connection with several illegal schemes to promote, market and sell OxyContin, a powerful prescription pain reliever that the company produces. The manufacturer's sales force was trained to make false claims about the product to healthcare professionals, thereby, misbranding OxyContin by illegally promoting the drug as being less addictive, less subject to abuse, and less likely to cause tolerance and withdrawal than other pain medications. These practices falsely promote the product and may cause health risks for consumers.