15 States Have An Opioid Agreement With Purdue Pharma


At a press conference announcing the settlement on Thursday, attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, and Minnesota said they had asked Sacklers for years to admit their guilt and apologize, but his family members refused.

Instead of chasing years for more money to meet the dire needs posed by the opioid epidemic, government lawyers said they agreed to step back to release funds faster.

Representatives New York Democrat Carolyn B. Maloney and California Democrat Mark DeSaulnier passed a law they call the Sackler Act, which would allow states to follow company owners in bankruptcy cases, which attorneys general say they strongly support. But the attorneys general added that even if Congress passed such a bill, Sacklers and Purdue would almost certainly have settled this case long before and would be out of the bill’s reach.

Under the sweeping bankruptcy filing, Purdue will cease to exist and re-emerge as a new company that will manufacture limited quantities of OxyContin and overdose reverse medication. It was to be overseen by an appointed board. Profits would primarily support drug treatment and prevention programs, seeding payments to funds for far-flung litigants.

Lawyers participating in the negotiations highlighted the import of the public document repository, whose breadth and depth are almost unmatched. While Purdue had already produced 13 million documents during the litigation, it will now add another 20 million. The coverage of documents from competitors of this single company has been revealed by the entire tobacco industry, a much-desired outcome of the Big Tobacco lawsuit nearly 20 years ago.

The Purdue documents will include statements, emails and letters dating back two decades. Purdue is expected to reveal detailed details about its Food and Drug Administration and behind-the-scenes contacts with federal investigators and officials, while the company is imposing tougher penalties for promoting turbocharged sales promoting OxyContin as effective and non-addictive. Experts say Purdue’s former president and CEO, Dr. He predicts that Richard Sackler’s musings and powers will also be revealed.

At Thursday’s briefing, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who was the first to sue the individual Sacklers, said the document stood as a promise to the families of opioid victims. “It will tell the whole story, all the conversations, all the discussions, all the planning, all the ways they will make money and escape accountability and regulation,” he said.


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