WASHINGTON, DC (WOAY) – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on Purdue Pharma pleading guilty in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay $8 billion for their involvement in the opioid epidemic.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged West Virginia and much of America, claiming innocent lives and hurting our friends, family and neighbors. Purdue Pharma produced and sold opioids knowing they were highly addictive and harmful without caring about the consequences. They lied to the American people for a profit. There is no amount of money that can bring back the West Virginians whose lives were lost because of Purdue Pharma,” said Senator Manchin.“However, we can ensure that the settlement is used to address the opioid epidemic in West Virginia and other states hit hard by this crisis. Purdue should be required to pay their settlements in full, and there should not be one dollar going to bonuses for their executives. These settlements will never heal the hearts of those who lost loved ones, but we can do everything possible to help those impacted by this terrible epidemic.”
In September, Senator Manchin led five Senators in urging Judge Robert D. Drain to reject Purdue Pharma’s proposal to pay President and CEO Craig Landau a bonus of up to $3.5 million. Attorneys General from 24 states have argued that Landau should not collect a bonus. According to Purdue’s own filings, the incentive payment plan is similar to the plan the company used during its illegal and deceptive opioid marketing campaign that accelerated an epidemic that has claimed an estimated 400,000 lives and generated $35 billion in revenue for Purdue. Senator Manchin also led eleven Senators last December in sending a letter to Purdue Pharma asking them to cancel the reported bonuses.