Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has entered into a tentative agreement with about half of the states and thousands of local governments over its role in the deadly opioid epidemic in the United States, but critics of several attorneys general have blurred the prospects of ending the lawsuits against society. the family who owns it.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the deal included more money from the Sackler family, which had become a hard point during recent talks.
"The discussions are progressing rapidly, but it's the fastest and safest way to get immediate relief for Arizona and the communities affected by the opioid crisis and the family's actions." Sackler, "Brnovich told the Associated Press.
Sources familiar with the talks indicate that Purdue, of Stamford, Connecticut, will spend $ 12 billion over time and that the Sackler family will give up control of the company. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak in public.
The company and a group of family members have been pursued from coast to coast to coast by cities, counties, states, and American tribes, accused of knowingly downplaying them. OxyContin brand opioid dependence and death risks. The offer is the same as publicly announced several weeks ago. It was unclear whether the announcement signaled the end of negotiations with a view to reaching a national settlement with Purdue or whether the negotiations were entering a new phase.
The company and the family vehemently denied all wrongdoing in the current cases, but admitted to having engaged in talks to resolve the problem.
Purdue Pharma should face states that oppose its offer of settlement in the context of a bankruptcy proceeding starting next week, sources close to the case said.
Later on Tuesday, senior advocates representing more than 2,000 cities, counties and other plaintiffs filed lawsuits against purdue prescription painkiller manufacturer, as well as more than two dozen US states and territories, were about to agree on an offer from the company and members of the Sackler family, who controlled it to settle lawsuits in a deal valued at $ 12 billion, citizens said .
More than a dozen other states remain opposed or uncommitted to the deal, paving the way for a legal battle against Purdue's efforts to contain opioid litigation in a bankruptcy court, they said.
The states should inform Wednesday a federal judge of support for the offer of settlement, which is still changing, said the people.
Critics of the agreement under discussion began weighing Wednesday afternoon.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who sued Purdue and key members of the multi-billion dollar Sackler family, said:
"As our country continues to recover from the carnage left by the Sacklers' greed, this family is now trying to evade its responsibilities and reassure the millions of victims of the opioid crisis."
She continued in a statement: "An agreement that does not take into account the depth of pain and destruction caused by Purdue and the Sacklers is an insult, clear and simple. As Attorney General, I will continue to seek justice for the victims and hold the wrong actors accountable, however powerful. "
Purdue's board needs to be informed of progress on settlement Thursday, said one of the officials. There was still a chance that the negotiations would break down and that the company's plans, including the timing of bankruptcy, would be changed.
Members of billionaire Sackler, well-known members of the Sackler family, well-known wealthy philanthropists, have refused to revise their $ 3-billion settlement proposal over seven years and $ 1.5 billion or more through the eventual sale of Another company that belongs to them, Mundipharma. the material said.
New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, where the private company Purdue is based, are among the states opposed to the current offer and have pushed the family to guarantee $ 4.5 billion, announced the people.
Last weekend, the Sacklers' involved members "refused to budge" after attorneys general of North Carolina and Tennessee presented counter-proposals to the family, who would have received wide support from the community. Other states, according to a courier reviewed by Reuters.
The lawsuits, which in some cases targeted up to eight Sacklers as well as Purdue, claim that the family and the company contributed to a public health crisis that claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The lawsuits allege that Purdue aggressively marketed prescription pain medications while misleading physicians and patients about their dependence and the risks of overdose. Purdue and the Sacklers denied the allegations.
Negotiations on the family's contribution to a settlement were discordant. Purdue is preparing to file an application for bankruptcy protection with the outline of a settlement in hand.
"The family is supporting the search for a global resolution that directs resources to patients, families and communities in the country who are suffering and need assistance," said a Sackler family member in a statement. communicated.
"This is the most effective way to deal with the urgency of the current public health crisis and to fund real solutions, not endless litigation," the statement added.
Company representatives did not comment immediately.
Given that the potential agreement only concerns the attorneys general of 22 states, and many others not yet aligned, it is not clear whether a plan can be accepted or not.
According to the New York Times, it would be a matter of dissolving Purdue in its current form and creating another company that would continue to sell its narcotic pain relievers, with the proceeds then going to the plaintiffs.
Andrew Kolodny, an expert in the field of opioid addiction and the opioid crisis, said, "This is bad because states will be put in the position of taking advantage of future sales of Purdue products and this should be a non-starter. They should not be reimbursed for the opioid crisis resulting from the sale of opioids. It's inappropriate. No agreement is better than a bad deal. "