A U.S. District Judge yesterday approved a plea bargain in which a drug company and its principal principals agreed to pay $634.5 million for lying about the addictiveness of a pain-killer, OxyContin. The company apparently owes $600 million and the individuals the rest.
Blawgletter marvels that nobody got prison time to think, penitently, about the horrific human cost of encouraging pharmacoligical nirvana. Plus the individuals have to pay but a small fraction of the fine — a fraction that may, for all we know, come from insurance.
So what did the Justice Department achieve? We can’t tell. Let’s hope that we learn more in the days to come.