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Sacklers to pay $4.5 billion, dissolve Purdue Pharma in opioid settlement

12 6 7
02.09.2021

AP — A federal bankruptcy judge gave conditional approval Wednesday to a sweeping, potentially $10 billion plan submitted by OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to settle a mountain of lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades.

Under the settlement, the Sackler family will give up ownership of the company and contribute $4.5 billion. But the Sacklers will be shielded from any future lawsuits over opioids.

The drugmaker itself will be reorganized into a new company with a board appointed by public officials and will funnel its profits into government-led efforts to prevent and treat addiction.

Also, the settlement sets up a compensation fund that will pay some victims of drugs an expected $3,500 to $48,000 each.

After an all-day hearing in which he analyzed the plan’s pros and cons for a nonstop 6 1/2 hours, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said he would approve it as long as two relatively small changes were made. If so, he said, he will formally enter the decision on Thursday.

He said that while he does not have “fondness for the Sacklers or sympathy for them,” collecting money from them through lawsuits instead of a settlement would be complicated.

The deal comes nearly two years after the Stamford, Connecticut-based company filed for bankruptcy under the weight of some 3,000 lawsuits from states and local governments, individuals, Native American tribes, hospitals, unions and other entities.

They accuse Purdue Pharma of fueling the crisis by aggressively pushing sales of its best-selling prescription painkiller.

Under the settlement, the Sacklers were not given immunity from criminal charges, though there have been no indications they will face any.

State and local governments came to support the plan overwhelmingly, if grudgingly in many cases. But nine states and others had opposed it, largely because of the protections granted to the Sackler family.

The attorneys general of Connecticut, the District of Columbia and Washington state immediately announced they will either appeal the ruling or explore the possibility of doing so.

The Sacklers “should not be allowed........

© The Times of Israel


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