Members of the Sackler family, owners of the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, are named as defendants in lawsuits filed by several states throughout the country. Purdue Pharma makes the opioid painkiller OxyContin that is blamed for contributing to the nation's opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past two decades, more than 200,000 people in this country have died from overdoses of highly addictive opioids like OxyContin. States are now trying to hold the Sackler family legally liable for encouraging doctors to prescribe the addictive medication and for shielding company assets.
A Massachusetts lawsuit claims that members of the Sackler family directed Purdue Pharma sales representatives to advise doctors to prescribe the highest dosage of OxyContin to patients in an effort to maximize company profits. A lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General claims that the family, with an estimated net worth of $13 billion, transferred hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to personal offshore accounts to shield assets from pending lawsuits, in addition to destroying quarterly revenue reports.
Seattle based drug crime defense attorney Steve Karimi explains the OxyContin and opioid-related drug laws in Washington state.
What Are the Opioid Laws in Washington?
Opioid drugs like Oxycodone or OxyContin are classified as Schedule II drugs in Washington under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. These types of drugs have the potential to lead to severe psychological or physical dependence and have a high potential for abuse.
It is illegal in Washington to obtain or attempt to obtain opioids by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, forgery or alteration of a prescription, concealment of material fact or by the use of a false name or address. It is also illegal to attempt to obtain opioids by providing more than one name to a medical practitioner when getting a prescription for a controlled substance. The state requires that if a person's name is legally changed during the time period that he or she is receiving health care from a practitioner, the person is required to inform all providers of care so that the medical and pharmacy records for the person may be filed under a single name.
Violations of these laws are considered a class C felony. A conviction is punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and fines of up to two thousand dollars. A conviction can also impact your criminal record and your ability to secure student loan funding, employment, and housing.
There are instances when a person with a valid opioid prescription is unfairly charged with violating the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Contacting an experienced drug crime defense attorney can help you to understand your rights and defenses.
Contact Seattle Drug Crime Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
Attorney Steve Karimi defends Washington residents against all types of criminal drug charges. If you've been charged with an opioid-related drug crime, the consequences of a conviction can be severe. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for help by calling (206) 621-8777 for a free consultation.