US officials: OxyContin maker to plead to 3 criminal charges

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Justice Department officials tell The Associated Press that Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion.

OxyContin is the powerful prescription painkiller that experts say helped touch off an opioid epidemic.

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The officials say Purdue will plead guilty to three counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws. The deal doesn’t release any of the company’s executives or owners from criminal liability, and a criminal investigation is ongoing.

The owners are members of the wealthy Sackler family.

The Justice Department officials weren’t authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.