Purdue Pharma reportedly reached a tentative settlement on Wednesday in the over 2,000 lawsuits waged against the company over the opioid epidemic. While other pharmaceutical corporations are continuing to duke out their liability for the epidemic in court rooms across the country, Purdue has agreed to the first “global” settlement, which was negotiated by lawyers representing thousands of municipal governments, tribes, and states nationwide. As part of the settlement, Purdue will reportedly cease to exist as it currently operates, and all manufacturing of the notorious opioid OxyContin will shift to a new company that will then distribute the drug’s proceeds to the plaintiffs. The new company will also reportedly donate so-called overdose “rescue” drugs, such as naloxone and others still in development. Due to the dismantling, the company will likely soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The settlement has not satisfied many states attorneys directly pursuing members of the Sackler family, which own Purdue Pharma. The agreement does not require the family to admit any wrongdoing, but does require them to pay $3 billion in cash over seven years. According to Forbes, the Sacklers are worth an estimated $13 billion. New cases recently filed by states attorneys in Virginia, New Mexico, and Delaware hope to claim more money from the family and force them to leave the pharmaceutical business. And attorneys from Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut want the family to end all international sales and fork over another $1.5 billion.