Maker of OxyContin Reaches $270M Settlement in Oklahoma 26 March 2019
Maker of OxyContin Reaches $270M Settlement in Oklahoma 26 March 2019
Purdue Pharma agrees to settle OxyContin opioid case with Oklahoma
27 March, 2019, 11:10
Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the Oxycontin painkiller has agreed to pay the state of Oklahoma $270 million to settle litigation for the damage caused by the opioids.
Yost, who said his office was "not close" to reaching a settlement with Purdue Pharma, wondered whether Purdue Pharma truly meant to file for bankruptcy in the near future if it just agreed to pay more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
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The company's decision to settle came after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected requests to delay a trial set for May.
The $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma marks a milestone for the company, which is exploring filing for bankruptcy and now faces 1,600 additional lawsuits by cities, counties and states related to its role in the painkiller crisis.
Oklahoma sued 13 opioid manufacturers in all in 2017, accusing them of fraudulent marketing that led to thousands of overdoses and deaths.
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It was accused of contributing to 48,000 deaths across the United States in 2017 attributed to prescription opioid addiction and abuse. Any bankruptcy filing from Purdue Pharma would not protect the Sackler family in the same way, Yost said. Cantor Fitzgerald analysts wrote Tuesday that the deal could "pave the way for a framework for settlements" in the multidistrict litigation, which is housed in Cleveland federal court. But Oklahoma's attorney general said the company gave assurances it will not take such a step in the near term. It would be the first of the current round of lawsuits brought against the industry across the U.S. to go to trial. A MA court filing made public earlier this year found that family members were paid at least $4 billion from 2007 until last year. And he said the settlement money is "bankruptcy proof" - that is, "it's not at risk in the event Purdue declares bankruptcy". "We see this agreement with Oklahoma as an extension of our commitment to help drive solutions to the opioid addiction crisis, and we pledge Purdue's ongoing support to the National Center and the life-saving work it will do for generations to come", Dr. Craig Landau, CEO of Purdue Pharma, said in a statement emailed to ABC News.
The Sackler family, who are worth $13bn according to Forbes magazine, also said they "have profound compassion for those affected by addiction".
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