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Purdue Pharma ‘offers up to $12bn’ to settle opioid cases

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Purdue Pharma, the opioid drug-maker owned by the billionaire Sackler family, is reported to be offering between $10bn and $12bn to settle thousands of lawsuits against it.

The firm is facing over 2,000 lawsuits linked to its painkiller OxyContin.

Purdue told the BBC it was “actively working” towards a “global resolution” but would not comment on the amount.

NBC, which first reported the news, said the settlement would involve the Sacklers giving up ownership of Purdue.

The firm said in a statement: “While Purdue Pharma is prepared to defend itself vigorously in the opioid litigation, the company has made clear that it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals.

“Purdue believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome.”

According to Reuters, there is currently no agreement and the settlement discussions could collapse.

Purdue is one of 22 opioid makers, distributors and pharmacies named in over 2,000 cases which are due to go to trial in October.

The cases, which have been bought by states, cities and counties, allege the company used deceptive practices to sell opioids and is responsible for fuelling an opioid addiction crisis in the US.

On average, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The firm has said that the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, approved labels for OxyContin that had warnings about the risks.

The Sacklers have argued they were passive board members who approved routine management requests and were not involved with the marketing of OxyContin.

Opioids were involved in almost 400,000 overdose deaths in the US from 1999 to 2017, according to its research.

On Monday, drugmaker Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a US judge to pay $572m (£468m) for its part in fuelling Oklahoma’s opioid addiction crisis.

The company said immediately after the judgement that it would appeal.

Purdue Pharma ‘offers up to $12bn’ to settle opioid cases

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