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Purdue offers $10B-$12B settlement in opioid lawsuits

Purdue offers $10B-$12B settlement in opioid lawsuits
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Purdue Pharma is offering to settle thousands of claims against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion over its alleged role in helping create the country’s opioid crisis.

According to NBC News, which first reported the settlement offer, the deal from Purdue, and its owners, the Sackler family, would cover every pending lawsuit against the company. 

According to the report, the Sackler family would relinquish ownership of the company and pay at least $3 billion.

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Purdue would declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and then restructure into a for-profit “public benefit trust,” which would exist for at least a decade and provide drugs to the cities, counties, tribes and states to help aid in recovery from the opioid crisis.

Any profits from the sale of Purdue’s drugs such as OxyContin or the anti-overdose drug Nalmefene, would go to the plaintiffs if they agree to the settlement, NBC reported. Purdue has reportedly made more than $35 billion in sales from OxyContin since it first came to the market.

The lawsuits against Purdue, which makes OxyContin, along with more than two dozen other opioid manufacturers and distributors, have been brought by cities, counties, states and Native American tribes. 

They allege the manufacturers deliberately misrepresented the risks of long-term use of opioids, and distributors failed to properly monitor suspicious orders of the drugs.

In a statement to The Hill, Purdue said that while it is “prepared to defend itself vigorously in the opioid litigation, the company has made clear that it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”

“The people and communities affected by the opioid crisis need help now. Purdue believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome,” the company said.

While states have been filing separate lawsuits, a federal lawsuit involving more than 2,000 cities, counties and tribes was combined, and is scheduled to be heard in October by a federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio.  

A representative for the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, did not respond to a request for comment.

Representatives for the plaintiffs in the case did not respond to a request for comment.