News

Law & the Courts

Purdue Pharma Reaches Settlement in Opioid Case

Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin sit at a local pharmacy in Provo, Utah, April 25, 2017. (George Frey/Reuters)

Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, has reached a tentative comprehensive settlement with 22 state attorneys general and thousands of local governments and tribes that had sued the drug manufacturer, charging that it catalyzed the opioid crisis.

The $10 billion to $12 billion settlement reportedly requires the dissolution of the Stamford, Conn. company, which is accused of helping jumpstart the opioid epidemic and is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy soon. A new company will be created, which will still sell OxyContin but also contribute funds to combat the opioid epidemic. The company’s owners, the Sackler family, will pay $3 billion of the settlement out of their personal $13 billion fortune over the next seven years and give up control of Purdue Pharma.

“We feel good progress has and will continue to be made,” said the federal plaintiffs and more than 20 attorneys general. But more than 20 other state attorneys general have said the deal does not hit Purdue Pharma hard enough and signaled that they will continue to go after the Sacklers independently.

“The scope and scale of the pain, death and destruction that Purdue and the Sacklers have caused far exceeds anything that has been offered thus far,” Connecticut attorney general William Tong said in a statement. Ohio attorney general Dave Yos made clear that he also opposes the settlement.

Earlier this year, Oklahoma resolved a claim against Purdue Pharma for $270 million, which went toward funding addiction research and treatment as well as legal fees.

Close to 400,000 Americans are estimated to have died between 1999 and 2017 as a result of the opioid crisis.

Most Popular

Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Theater of Trolls

As a boy, I used to watch a television show with a weekly gag titled “MasterJoke Theatre.” A pompous egghead smoked a pipe in a leather-bound chair in a richly appointed library, told a joke, and got a pie in the face for his trouble. What the Democrats launched on the Hill this week is their own variant, ... Read More
U.S.

A Defining Statement of Modern Conservatism

The greatest documents in American history never lose their ability to astonish. They deserve, and repay, careful study, and inevitably have contemporary resonances no matter how long ago they were written or uttered. There’s no doubt that Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” belongs in the top ranks ... Read More
White House

The Russian Conspiracy That Won’t Die

The Mueller report accomplished nothing. Whether you thought that the two-year, $32 million investigation was warranted or not, the report promised to establish a factual record that both sides could accept, especially on the explosive charge that Donald Trump had conspired with the Russians to win the ... Read More