Purdue Pharma reaches tentative deal in federal lawsuit

National News

UNITED STATES (WSYR-TV) — A groundbreaking settlement in the opioid crisis. 

The Washington Post was first to report that Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the painkiller Oxycontin, has reached a tentative settlement deal with nearly half the states and some 2,000 local governments.

The settlement is said to be worth $10 to $14 billion and includes a $3 billion payment from the Sackler Family, who have a controlling interest in Purdue Pharma. Under the plan, which has been under discussion for months, the Sacklers would give up control of the company, Purdue would file bankruptcy and become a trust, charged with combating the opioid epidemic.

In clips released by the investigative news group ProPublica, we hear sword testimony during a lawsuit filed by the state of Kentucky in 2015 with Dr. Richard Sackler.

“Do you know whether OxyContin is more powerful or less powerful than morphine?” 

“It depends what you mean by powerful. If powerful means potency, absolutely.  It is twice as potent as morphine.”

Previously, Purdue Pharma explained in a statement, “While Purdue Pharma is prepared to defend itself vigorously in the opioid litigation, it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”

The drugmaker is currently facing thousands of lawsuits related to opioid deaths and addictions.

Arizona’s attorney general tells the Associated Press that the deal was the quickest way to get relief for communities devastated by the opioid epidemic.

The enormous consolidated federal trial is scheduled to begin in mid-October with two test cases, Cuyahoga and Summit Counties, as the first plaintiffs to make their case against an array of drug companies in court. Meanwhile, more than 40 lawsuits against drug companies are wending their way through state courts. A growing number of states also have sued the Sackler family personally. 

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