Vermont Daily Today

Vermont Daily: Thursday, October 22 Edition

Investigation begun by Vermont’s federal prosecutor leads to $8 Billion payout by opioid maker

The Department of Justice Wednesday October 21 announced a global resolution of its criminal and civil investigations into the opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.  

“The abuse and diversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and deaths, in addition to those caused by illicit street opioids,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen.  “With criminal convictions, a federal settlement of more than $8 billion, and the dissolution of a company and repurposing its assets entirely for the public’s benefit, the resolution in today’s announcement re-affirms that the Department of Justice will not relent in its multi-pronged efforts to combat the opioids crisis.”

“Purdue’s expansive criminal conduct included paying a kickback in exchange for designing medical software to influence unwitting physicians,” said Christina E. Nolan, United States Attorney for the District of Vermont.  “Purdue’s drug marketers paid to invade the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship so that it could influence medical decisions and increase prescriptions of its most potent opioids.  As a Purdue entity is now prepared to plead guilty for a second time to conduct involving unlawful marketing of highly addictive opioid pills, this resolution will serve as a reminder that the company put profits before people during the height of the opioid crisis.” MORE…..   

Scott expands hazard pay for frontline workers

Gov. Phil Scott today announced the second round of the Frontline Employee Hazard Pay Grant Program, which was passed by the Legislature. This round expands the types of employers who are now eligible to apply and includes employees who worked for an eligible employer last spring during the worst of the pandemic in Vermont but are no longer working for that employer.

“I want to thank the Legislature for their work to expand this program,” said Governor Scott. “This phase recognizes some of the forgotten heroes of last spring: the people who kept us fed, housed our most vulnerable, cared for our children, and so much more. I appreciate the work of so many Vermonters to help us through this once-in-a-century crisis and know we have more work to do to help families recover from the impacts.”

The first round of the Hazard Pay Grant Program distributed approximately $28 million to those primarily in the healthcare and human services fields. The first round covered approximately 370 employer applications, equating to approximately 15,650 employees who received a grant. The second round expands the employer type to include sectors such as pharmacies, grocery stores and certain retail, and appropriates an additional $22.5 million. This round will be administered by the Department of Financial Regulation, in consultation with the Agency of Human Services. MORE…..

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