This article was originally published in WOSU Public Media
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.
Lawyer Paul Farrell, one of the lead attorneys representing more than 2,000 local governments that have filed suit against Purdue, said the Sackler family, which owns the privately-held drug company, will pay roughly $3 billion dollars in cash over several years and relinquish control of the company.
Details of the deal — like how the money will be divvied up — are still being worked out. The settlement, if enacted, would mean Purdue will file for bankruptcy and divest from pharmaceutical holdings worldwide.
“Which means the people who were front and center in causing this epidemic, in my view, won’t be able to go out and repeat their playbook in Asia, South America or Africa,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who is part of the pending deal, told NPR.
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