Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a broken city

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya court rules Dubai firm can print presidential ballots

Read more

ENCORE!

Omar El Akkad's 'American War': A tale of US dystopia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Exxon sues US over $2m fine for violating Russia sanctions

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Too sexy for Malaysia': Hit single 'Despacito' stirs controversy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is this the end of Emmanuel Macron's honeymoon period?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Macron's air force uniform draws Tom Cruise comparisons

Read more

Opioid maker fined $35mn over shipments that fed addiction crisis

© GETTY/AFP/File | Oxycodone pain pills are highly adictive

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

Drug manufacturer Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals was fined $35 million Tuesday for supplying and not reporting suspicious massive orders of its highly addictive oxycodone, helping to fuel the US addiction crisis.

The Justice Department said the company agreed to pay the amount to settle allegations that it did not meet obligations to report to the Drug Enforcement Administration suspect orders from pharmacies in Florida and elsewhere.

Mallinckrodt, which manufactures drugs in the United States but keeps its corporate headquarters in London, has been under investigation since 2011 by the DEA for shipping huge amounts of oxycodone via distributors to small communities that could not possibly generate demand.

The barely controlled pumping of hundreds of millions of doses of opioids into US communities by major drug manufacturers during the past decade is blamed for a sharp surge in addiction and overdose deaths which totaled an estimated 60,000 last year.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech Tuesday that the United States "has paid an increasingly high price for drug abuse. We have paid for it in broken relationships and broken lives and death rates the likes of which we have never seen before."

"Mallinckrodt's actions and omissions formed a link in the chain of supply that resulted in millions of oxycodone pills being sold on the street," he said in a separate statement on the settlement.

The $35 million settlement was equivalent to 7.2 percent of the company's 2016 net profits.

In a statement, the company said it disagreed with the government's allegations and denied it violated any laws.

"We are proud of the fact that Mallinckrodt has long been an industry leader in actively combatting the serious issue of prescription drug abuse," said the company's general counsel Michael-Bryant Hicks.

© 2017 AFP