Several lawmakers have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to explore whether criminal charges should be brought against members of the Sackler family who control Purdue Pharma, which has been blamed for helping to trigger the widespread opioid crisis in the U.S.
The lawmakers noted that, in late 2020, Purdue pleaded guilty to three felonies related to the sale and marketing of the OxyContin painkiller as part of an $8.3 billion settlement that also resolved civil charges against the company. At the time, federal authorities indicated criminal charges against individuals had not been ruled out and an investigation remained ongoing. But criminal charges were never filed.
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