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What's ahead after the Purdue tentative settlement

SeattlePI.com Wednesday, 11 September 2019
CLEVELAND (AP) — Wednesday's tentative $12 billion settlement by some state, local and tribal governments with Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and the company's owners could shape efforts to reach a global settlement with other manufacturers, drug distributors and retailers in lawsuits consolidated before a federal judge in Cleveland. The lawsuits aim to find help for communities besieged by an opioid crisis that has killed 400,000 people across the U.S. since 2000.

Here are some questions and answers about Purdue Pharma, the proposed settlement, and its importance to the multi-district litigation in Cleveland.

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WHAT IS PURDUE PHARMA?

It's a privately held company based in Stamford, Connecticut, owned by the ultra-wealthy Sackler family. It employees thousands of people worldwide and controls numerous subsidiaries. The tentative settlement calls for the money to be paid out over time with the Sacklers relinquishing control of the company.

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WHY IS A SETTLEMENT WITH PURDUE IMPORTANT?

OxyContin is a time-release painkiller that's been blamed for triggering the nation's opioid crisis that began taking hold in the early 2000s, an assertion Purdue vehemently disagrees with. Purdue in 2007 pleaded guilty to misleading doctors, patients and regulators about the drug's risks and paid a $634 million fine. It's believed the Sacklers have removed billions of dollars from the company since 2007 and have shielded that wealth in an intricate web of offshore companies and trusts. While an ultimate settlement if reached could include a prepackaged bankruptcy, without a deal the company could file a free-fall bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the amount of money governments had hoped to receive to address the crisis. And generally, family owned businesses...
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News video: Purdue reaches tentative opioid settlement -sources

Purdue reaches tentative opioid settlement -sources 00:45

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a tentative agreement with some plaintiffs to resolve widespread litigation over its alleged role in fueling the U.S. opioid crisis and plans to tussle with states opposing its settlement offer in bankruptcy proceedings starting as soon as next week, people...

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