Just one day after Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay more than $500 million to the state of Oklahoma for its role in furthering the opioid crisis, Purdue Pharma initiated talks to settle thousands of federal and state lawsuits for its role.
Purdue Pharma, makes OxyContin, one of the drugs named in many lawsuits. The company is offering between $10 billion and $12 billion dollars to settle these cases, according to an NBC News report. In addition, the Sackler family, which owns the company, would give up its ownership and pay $3 billion or more of its own money as part of the settlement. This news is confirmed by The New York Times, The Washington Post and NBC News.
Purdue Pharma says it would “defend itself vigorously,” but sees “little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals,” and is seeking a solution in conjunction with attorneys generals and plaintiffs.
In the Oklahoma case, Purdue Pharma also settled for $270 million. The state also reached an $85 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Nationwide, Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies are facing more than 2,000 lawsuits from states, counties, municipalities and Native American governments. The cases were rolled into one to be tried in the federal court district in northern Ohio on October 21.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available through the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) . Your call is anonymous and operators are available to assist 24/7.
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears almost weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!