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September 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Purdue Pharma reportedly considering settling numerous opioid lawsuits for up to $12B

Stamford’s Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, are reportedly offering to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion.

The proposed agreement also calls for the Sackler family to pay $3 billion into the settlement, and to give up ownership of Purdue, according to an NBC News report. Forbes ranks the family as the 19th richest in the nation, with at least $13 billion shared by an estimated 20 family members.

The Sackler money would be obtained by the family selling off Mundipharma, a separate global pharmaceutical company they own, according to NBC. An additional $1.5 billion could be added to the $3 billion if the sale of Mundipharma exceeds $3 billion.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who is among a number of state attorneys general suing the maker of OxyContin and members of the Sackler family, has been a part of the ongoing settlement talks, according to his office.

“While Purdue Pharma is prepared to defend itself vigorously in the opioid litigation,” the pharma firm said in a statement, “the company has made clear that it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals. The people and communities affected by the opioid crisis need help now.”

Purdue also said it “believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome.”

The numerous lawsuits Purdue is facing allege that its sales practices were deceptive and played a significant role in the opioid crisis, which accounted for the loss of over 400,000 lives from 1999 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Connecticut was the second state to also sue members of the Sackler family, alleging that they siphoned off money from Purdue’s profits for their personal use. Massachusetts was the first state to file such a lawsuit.

“They pursued profits – financial gain – over the incredible and frankly, immeasurable, human toll and human cost of the opioid and addiction crisis,” Tong said at the time.

NBC reported that Purdue has proposed declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then restructuring into a for-profit “public benefit trust.”

According to that report, Purdue attorneys put the value of the trust to plaintiffs at $7 billion to $8 billion, including more than $4 billion in drugs that would be provided to cities, counties and states.

Purdue reached a $270 million settlement in March to resolve a similar lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma.

Earlier this week, an Oklahoma judge on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572.1 million to the state for deceptively marketing addictive painkillers.