Drugmakers want to join Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy to settle US opioid suits

Maia Anderson -

Several drugmakers involved in the upcoming federal opioid trial are looking to settle their cases by participating in Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy settlement, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Five drugmakers — Endo International, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergen and Mallinckrodt — are exploring a global settlement that would be executed through Purdue Pharma's chapter 11 case.

If successful, the deal would allow the drugmakers to contribute money into a trust set up through the bankruptcy settlement in exchange for complete release from liability.

The companies have not yet discussed how much money they'd contribute, a source familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

The deal may save Endo, Teva and Mallinckrodt from seeking bankruptcy protection or having to restructure.

OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family would have to agree to the deal, as well as the state attorneys general and local municipalities suing the drugmakers. The bankruptcy judge would also have to determine if he has jurisdiction to allow the other companies to join the case.

This kind of deal, known as a third-party release, is prohibited in some states but not in New York where Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy.

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