OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma proposes $10B bankruptcy exit


Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, on Tuesday proposed a $10 billion restructuring plan to exit bankruptcy and transfer its assets to a company focused on combating the opioid epidemic.

The plan, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., would require members of the Sackler family, who own the company, to pay almost $4.3 billion over a decade — a larger amount than in previous proposals.

The company announced the changes in a statement released on Tuesday.

The family would have “no involvement” in the new company, which would instead be run by a new independent board, and in exchange, would be legally released from facing opioid-related lawsuits. 

The restructuring proposal would also ensure that most of the money from the plan would go toward combating the crisis instead of to state and local government creditors, according to The Wall Street Journal.   

“The company has worked closely with a broad and diverse group of stakeholders to guarantee that billions of dollars will be used exclusively for abatement purposes and not diverted elsewhere,” Steve Miller, the chairman of Purdue’s board of directors, said in a statement. 

“With drug overdoses still at record levels, it is past time to put Purdue’s assets to work addressing the crisis,” Miller added. “We are confident this plan achieves that critical goal.”

Purdue Pharma’s proposal comes after the drugmaker underwent months of negotiations to settle more than 2,900 lawsuits from state and local governments, Native American tribes, hospitals and other plaintiffs, The Associated Press reported.  

Attorneys general from 23 states and the District of Columbia declared that the drugmaker’s proposal “falls short of the accountability that families and survivors deserve” and calls for more money from members of the Sackler family, according to the AP. Most of the attorneys general are Democrats plus Republican Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

“The Sacklers became billionaires by causing a national tragedy. Now they’re trying to get away with it,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) said in a statement obtained by the AP. “We’re going to keep fighting for the accountability that families all across this country deserve.”

Members of the Sackler family have denied any wrongdoing.

“Today marks an important step toward providing help to those who suffer from addiction, and we hope this proposed resolution will signal the beginning of a far-reaching effort to deliver assistance where it is needed,” members of the Sackler family said in a statement obtained by The Hill.

Under the agreement, individual victims and families would split $700 million to $750 million over time, with personal injury payments expected to be between $3,500 and $48,000, according to the AP.

— Updated at 9:35 a.m.

Tags Bankruptcy Opioid crisis Opioid epidemic Opioids OxyContin purdue pharma
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