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House Oversight panel asks Purdue Pharma's Sackler family to testify over opioid crisis

House Oversight panel asks Purdue Pharma's Sackler family to testify over opioid crisis
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The House Oversight and Reform Committee has invited Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family to testify at a hearing next month on what the panel described as "their role in fueling the opioid epidemic." 

The invitation comes one day after the OxyContin manufacturer pleaded guilty to three federal criminal charges related to some of its sales and marketing practices related to the powerful painkiller. The deal was first announced in October as part of a larger $8 billion settlement. 

Committee Chair Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyHow ERA is good for the economy Wray suggests limits on FBI social media tracking a 'lesson learned' after Jan. 6 Trump, allies pressured DOJ to back election claims, documents show MORE (D-N.Y.) invited Richard Sackler, David Sackler, Kathe Sackler, and Mortimer Sackler to testify. She also invited Purdue Pharma CEO Craig Landau to appear before the committee. 

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Maloney noted that Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in federal court in 2007 to understating the risk of addiction to OxyContin, including failing to alert doctors that it was a stronger painkiller than morphine, and agreed to pay $600 million in fines and penalties. 

“The Committee has obtained documents showing that your family was closely involved in Purdue’s efforts to grow the market share for OxyContin and other opioids, even after entering into a prior settlement with [the Department of Justice] on charges of misbranding,” Maloney wrote. 

The hearing is scheduled to take place on Dec. 8. The Hill has reached out to Purdue Pharma for comment. 

The committee sought records from the company in March 2019 over how the Sackler family marketed OxyContin. The lawmakers said at the time that they were looking into reports that the family sought to drive up sales of OxyContin and other painkillers while expanding the market for medications to treat addiction.