US judge grants Purdue Pharma’s $7M exec bonus plan, faces blunt criticism

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses since 1999.

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A US judge on Monday approved up to $7.1 million in bonuses for five executives of OxyContin’s bankrupt maker, Purdue Pharma, after they faced sharp criticism for their handling of the case from a woman whose son died. resulted from an opioid overdose. .

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US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, signs off on the executive incentive plan at the conclusion of the virtual hearing.

His decision came nearly two weeks after he said he would approve Purdue’s restructuring plan, which rests on a $10 billion deal Provides legal release to protect company-owned Sackler family members from opioid-related lawsuits and from future opioid-related civil lawsuits. read more

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The Sacklers contributed about $4.5 billion to the plan, which was widely supported by creditors who voted on it, but critics were furious that the family would retain billions of dollars and never face public civil lawsuit. .

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“OxyContin tore our family to pieces,” Ellen Isaacs, whose son died of an opioid overdose, told Drain during Monday’s hearing, prompting him to reconsider his decision and recuse himself from the case. requested to approve his proposal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses since 1999.

During a 30-minute statement in court, Isaacs delivered a rare court rebuke to the judge, saying it was “well known” that bankruptcy was filed before Drain because the Sacklers knew they had their demands. Like had a history of approving releases.

She also said the Sacklers, who have denied wrongdoing, should face criminal charges and that little is being allocated to victims and their families through Purdue’s plan.

Drain declined her request, saying that while she had “lost no love for the Sacklers,” she did not feel “manipulated by anyone” in the matter. He also noted that the releases, which he said are supported by multiple courts across the country, do not protect Sacklers against potential criminal liability.

A representative for the Mortimer Sackler family referred to a request for comment on an earlier statement disputed the allegations made about the family, saying it was “truly sorry for the pain and loss that people have experienced.” and recognize the anger or hurt that many people have felt.”

Total stimulus payments for Purdue executives for 2021 range from $4 million to $5.4 million, depending on their ability to meet their goals as they continue to work toward exiting bankruptcy. They can collect up to an additional $1.7 million in long-term incentives. Executives must meet targets related to operating profit, net sales, and deadlines for testing and developing non-opioid products.

Drain said he did not consider the stimulus payments approving “bonuses” because even if paid in full, they would still fall in the middle of the total compensation range for executives of major pharmaceutical companies.

“There is no doubt that my decision will be perceived by some as authorizing large bonuses to the authorities. I do not believe that is really the case here,” he said.


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