Purdue Pharma

Companies Reach $260 Million Deal To Settle Opioids Lawsuit

Oct 21, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The nation's three dominant drug distributors and a big drugmaker have reached a $260 million deal to settle a lawsuit related to the opioid crisis just as the first federal trial over the crisis was due to begin Monday.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 24

Make no mistake: The legal fight over liability for the U.S. opioid crisis is only heating up.

Purdue Pharma, facing a mountain of litigation linked to the opioid epidemic, filed for bankruptcy in New York this week. The OxyContin manufacturer and its owners, the Sackler family, have offered to pay billions of dollars to cities and counties hit hard by the addiction crisis.

But that's not good enough for critics such as U.S. Rep. Max Rose.

Longtime Crusader Against OxyContin Begins To See The Fruits Of Her Struggle

Sep 17, 2019
Ana Venegas / Kaiser Health News

In the 15 years since she lost her son to a single OxyContin pill, Barbara Van Rooyan has had but one up-close look at the people representing the company that made it. 

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday night, just days after striking a settlement with more than 2,000 local governments over its alleged role in creating and sustaining the deadly opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid drug OxyContin, has reached a tentative deal worth billions of dollars that would resolve thousands of lawsuits brought by municipal and state governments who sued the company for allegedly helping to fuel the opioid crisis.

The pending settlement likely means Purdue will avoid going to trial in the sprawling and complicated case involving some 2,300 local governments across 23 states.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a tentative deal Wednesday with about half the states and thousands of local governments over its role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic, but criticism by several state attorneys general clouded prospects for an end to litigation against the company and the family that owns it.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

The family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, has agreed to give up "the entire value" of the privately owned firm to settle claims that Purdue played a central role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

That's according to a spokesperson for the firm, who detailed the Sackler family's offer in an email sent to NPR on Monday.

"Additionally, the Sacklers have offered $3 billion in cash as part of the global resolution," wrote Josephine Martin, Purdue Pharma's head of corporate affairs and communications.

America's big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are scrambling to respond to hundreds of lawsuits tied to the deadly opioid epidemic. Billions of dollars are at stake if the companies are found liable for fueling the crisis.

Even before judgments are rendered, companies like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and CVS are already suffering damage to their reputations as evidence in civil suits reveals more about their internal workings.

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Giuliani’s Consulting Firm Helped Halt Purdue Opioid Investigation In Florida

Sep 6, 2018
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Six months after hiring former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm, Purdue Pharma settled a Florida state investigation that had threatened to expose early illegal marketing of its blockbuster drug OxyContin, company and state records show.

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

An attorney for the company that makes the prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin says there is an opioid crisis.

The maker of OxyContin, one of the most prescribed and aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, will no longer tout the drug or any other opioids to doctors.

The announcement, made Saturday, came as drugmaker Purdue Pharma faces lawsuits for deceptive marketing brought by cities and counties across the U.S., including several in Maine. The company said it's cutting its U.S. sales force by more than half.

Pill Packs Could Trip Up Thieves

Jun 5, 2013

Banks have dye packs to track stolen cash. Drivers have LoJacks to track stolen cars. Now Florida authorities may get a gadget to track stolen pain pills.