Rogers joins in letter objecting to Purdue Pharma settlement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers has joined with 45 other congressmen in signing a letter demanding a revision to the agreement to settle criminal charges against Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with the company and its owners, which resulted in the defendants entering guilty pleas and agreeing to pay more than $8 billion.

But 22 percent of that amount actually comes in the form of a credit, because the defendants agreed to convert Purdue Pharma into a public benefit company, operated by a public trust on behalf of state and local governments.

It is that last part the congressmen are objecting to, saying it allows the Sacklers to keep nearly $2 billion.

They add that it also puts state and local governments in the business of selling Oxycontin, while at the same time battling its illicit distribution.