Purdue Pharma and Sacklers Reach $275 Million Settlement in Opioid Lawsuit

By | March 26, 2019

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and its owners, the Sackler family, will pay nearly $ 275 million to settle a closely watched lawsuit brought by the state of Oklahoma, two months before the trial was set to begin, a person close to the situation said.

More than $ 100 million will go to fund a new addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. The Sacklers, who were not named in the lawsuit, will contribute an additional $ 75 million over five years to the center.

More than $ 70 million will go to pay Oklahoma cites, counties and tribes and to reimburse the state for its litigation costs. The package also includes $ 20 million in medicine for addiction treatment.

The agreement is to be announced by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesman for Purdue Pharma declined to comment.

So far, the trial, which includes other pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson is still on track to begin May 28. On Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court turned aside a bid by the defendants to delay the start by 100 days.

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The $ 275 million payout is significantly larger than earlier settlements between Purdue and other states. The company settled a lawsuit brought by West Virginia in 2004 for $ 10 million and one brought by Kentucky in 2015 for $ 24 million.

But the settlement also means that the public will not hear a full recounting of Purdue’s actions in promoting OxyContin to doctors and underplaying its addictive properties, including testimony by members of the Sackler family.

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