The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP has agreed to pay around $ 4.28 billion, more than previously promised, to resolve lawsuits accusing it of helping fuel the epidemic of opioids.
The payment to the Sackler family members is part of a larger restructuring plan filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in White Plains, NY on Monday night that aims to get Purdue out of Chapter 11.
The plan is a critical step in the bankruptcy of the Stamford, Connecticut-based drugmaker and the culmination of months of negotiations between members of the Sackler family and the states, personal injury plaintiffs and other creditors .
A group of about half of all U.S. states have repeatedly asked the Sackler family for more money, a concession included in Monday’s plan. When it filed for bankruptcy in September 2019, the family had agreed to pay $ 3 billion with the promise of up to an additional $ 1.5 billion subject to the sale of its international operations. The new offer guarantees $ 4.28 billion, paid in installments over the next decade.
A key part of the restructuring plan, which includes an additional $ 1.5 billion in cash and expected proceeds from OxyContin sales, ensures that the money will be widely spent to help ease the opioid crisis in the country, rather than to go into the general coffers of the State and local communities. government creditors.
The plan would create special trusts that would distribute money for opioid reduction programs across the United States. Instead, a revamped Purdue will be overseen by a new independent board focused on tackling the opioid crisis and developing and delivering drugs to reverse overdoses and treat opioid addiction.
“With drug overdoses still at record levels, it is high time to put Purdue’s assets at the service of the crisis,” said Purdue chairman Steve Miller. “We are confident that this plan achieves this critical goal.”
Purdue’s Chapter 11 plan must be approved by a bankruptcy judge and will likely be challenged in court by people who have suffered opioid injuries and state attorneys general who have not signed the OK. A final resolution is not expected before the summer.
“We will continue to fight for the responsibility that families across the country deserve,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who, along with 23 other attorneys general, voiced her opposition to the plan on Monday and called for more transparency and more money. ahead of the Sacklers.
In return for their multibillion-dollar contribution, the Sacklers would get legal releases freeing them from opioid-related litigation. Purdue has said in court documents that the releases are an integral part of the proposed restructuring, but negotiations over the scope of the releases are ongoing.
Members of the Sackler family have denied any wrongdoing. Representatives for the Sackler family said they hoped the restructuring proposal released on Monday “would mark the start of a large-scale effort to provide assistance where it is needed.”
Monday’s proposal is broadly the same as the deal they went bankrupt with in 2019, but includes a few concessions to broaden support. New court records indicate that the Purdue law firm retained to handle the bankruptcy has investigated potential legal claims the company may have against the Sacklers.
Outside of his bankruptcy, Purdue pleaded guilty in November to three federal crimes, including paying illegal bribes and deceiving anti-drug officials. Members of the Sackler family agreed the previous month to pay $ 225 million to resolve civil claims with the Justice Department, without admitting any liability.
OxyContin, a potent pain reliever introduced in 1996, has been one of the main sources of public anger over the rampant opioid addiction that has plagued the country for decades. Purdue first had to rely on his aggressive marketing in 2007, when he made deals on criminal charges that he had misled the public about the risk of addiction. The wave of lawsuits that led him to bankruptcy began to form in 2017.
This story was posted from an agency feed with no text editing.
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