Purdue Pharma reaches tentative deal to settle opioid suits

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a tentative deal with 23 states and more than 2,000 cities and counties that sued the company over its role in the opioid crisis, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the deal.

Under the current deal, the Sackler family will give up ownership of Purdue Pharma and pay $3 billion to resolve its opioid litigation. The family may also need to pay another $1.5 billion depending on the money it generates from the sale of Mundipharma, another drugmaker owned by the Sacklers that sells medicines outside the U.S.

Trustees would take over operations of Purdue Pharma through a bankruptcy proceeding if the settlement is reached, according to the Journal.

As of Sept. 11, Purdue Pharma had tentative agreements with 23 states and three U.S. territories as well as attorneys representing thousands of cities and counties.

Several large states still oppose the settlement agreement, but the drugmaker is hoping to get other states to agree as Purdue Pharma prepares to file for bankruptcy as soon as this weekend.

The settlement is valued between $10 and $12 billion, though much of that money relies on future sales of OxyContin and the development of drugs to treat opioid addiction.

Purdue Pharma's board is to be debriefed Sept. 12 on settlement talks. The company is also separately negotiating with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve criminal and civil probes.

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