Purdue Pharma Executives Fight OxyContin Sentence

In a time of upheaval in our society, this case could be seen as an opportunity for our judicial system to "walk the talk" of our Government's recent claims to be enforcing Corporate Responsibility. In 2007, three top executives at Purdue Pharma (maker of OxyContin) were criminally charged for their role in the marketing of the addictive narcotic painkiller.  The executives were each convicted of a criminal misdemeanor under a somewhat obscure law known as the "responsible corporate officer" doctrine and could have faced a year in prison.  Instead, former CEO Michael Friedman, former medical director Paul Goldenheim and former general counsel Howard Udell agreed to deals that included three years of probation and fines totaling $34.5 million.   As part of their plea bargain, the Purdue Pharma trio also agreed to a sanction prohibiting them from doing business with Medicare and other taxpayer-funded healthcare programs for 20 years.  This sanction effectively bars them from working in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.  Following legal maneuvering by lawyers for the…

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