Purdue Pharma to pay over $200M to settle historic opioid lawsuit


Hunter's 2017 lawsuit was set to go to a jury on May 28 in what would have been the first trial from roughly 2,000 lawsuits filed in federal and state courts against Purdue and other drugmakers.

The epidemic has prompted lawsuits by state and local governments accusing various drugmakers of contributing to the crisis.

Purdue's recent acknowledgment that it is considering bankruptcy as an option could influence strategy in those lawsuits; Oklahoma's settlement ensures it will receive at least some compensation for its claims.

They have often compared the cases against Purdue to widespread lawsuits against the tobacco industry that resulted in a $246 billion settlement in 1998.

"We have long alleged that Purdue Pharma ignited today's epidemic by starting the disturbing practice of deceptive opioid marketing, convincing both doctors and the American public to trust that these drugs were safe and virtually non-addictive", said plaintiffs' attorneys Paul J. Hanly Jr., Paul T. Farrell Jr. and Joe Rice, in a statement.

A consultant's report that Oklahoma filed in court estimated that abating the opioid crisis in that state would cost more than $8.7 billion during the next 20 years.

The settlement comes one day after the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied Purdue's appeal for a delay of the trial.

Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "During the same five year timeframe, it will receive ongoing contributions of addiction treatment medicine, valued at $20 million". "Hopefully, this is the first of many".

Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in the 1990s and marketed it hard to doctors, making tens of billions of dollars from the drug.

Jauire, who lives in Marlborough, Massachusetts, said a complete airing of the facts is the only way to fully hold Purdue to account. "That's blood money from our children". In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty to misconduct in their marketing of OxyContin and paid more $600 million in fines.

Oklahoma sued Purdue Pharma and several other opioid manufacturers in 2017, accusing them of fraudulent marketing practices that led to thousands of overdoses and deaths. In the past few weeks, as the accusations have mounted, the Tate museums in London and the Guggenheim Museum in NY have cut ties with the family, and other institutions have come under pressure to turn down donations or remove the Sackler name.

In the past few weeks, the Tate museums in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in NY have cut ties with the family, which had been a major donor to the museums and other cultural institutions around the world for decades. Testimony from members the company's founding family, the Sacklers, won't happen either.