OxyContin settlement 'a slap in the face', Pa. Attorney General says

The Sackler family could give up Purdue Pharma, source says

Several state attorneys general vowed to continue their legal battles against the company in bankruptcy court and the Sacklers. Amna Nawaz talks to Connecticut Attorney General William Tong about why he thinks it's not enough.

Attorneys Paul Farrell and Paul Hanley, both of whom represented the conglomerate of cities and counties in the multi-district litigation (MDL) told the AP that numerous federal plaintiffs and state attorneys general "agreed to recommend the MDL claimants move forward in support of the current proposal subject to satisfactory documentation of the essential terms of the final documents", adding, "We feel good progress has and will continue to be made".

Under the plan which has been under discussion for months, the company's controlling family, the Sacklers, will also relinquish control of the company and declare bankruptcy.

New York, Massachusetts and CT, where privately-held Purdue is based, are among the states opposed to the current offer and have reportedly pushed the family to guarantee $4.5bn.

Attorney General Tong, thank you for being with us tonight.

Family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses protest outside Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford previous year.

In Canada, the British Columbia government launched a lawsuit in 2018 against dozens of players in the opioid industry for their role in an overdose crisis that has devastated communities across the country.

The Sacklers have reportedly rebuffed requests from some plaintiffs for more details about the family's finances to address concerns that more settlement money could be available.

Purdue has acknowledged in the United States that its marketing of its prescription painkiller OxyContin was misleading, with the company and three of its top executives paying a total of US$634.5-million in 2007 to settle civil and criminal charges. "Connecticut's focus is on the victims and their families, and holding Purdue and the Sacklers accountable for the crisis they have caused".

"A deal that doesn't account for the depth of pain and destruction caused by Purdue and the Sacklers is an insult, plain and simple", James said in a statement.

A Saskatchewan court judge rejected the settlement, saying the C$18-million in compensation that Purdue agreed to pay is neither fair nor reasonable for the people who became addicted after their doctors prescribed it.

How any money from the settlement will be divided among all the entities is not entirely clear.

The Sacklers, well-known wealthy philanthropists, have declined to revise their proposed settlement contribution of $3bn over seven years and another $1.5bn or more through the eventual sale of another business they own, called Mundipharma.

With Purdue facing more than 2,000 opioid-related lawsuits, the Sacklers began exploring bankruptcy options many months ago to halt litigation and attempt to reach a far-reaching settlement rather than fight every case individually.

Mulvihill reported from New Jersey.

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