The owners of Purdue Pharma LP, the maker of the painkiller Oxycontin, have agreed to increase payments to settle claims related to the вЂњopioid caseвЂќ to almost $4.28 billion.
The payments are part of a restructuring plan that the company filed in bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York. The plan is aimed at bringing the company out of bankruptcy.
In September 2019, members of the Sackler family, which owns the company, agreed to pay $3 billion, committing later to pay another $1.5 billion after the sale of the international business. Meanwhile, a group of about half of the US states repeatedly demanded that the owners of the company increase the number of payments.
The company has received thousands of lawsuits from states and local governments claiming that aggressive marketing of oxycontin has led to the formation of dependence on the drug in many people, and in some cases-to death due to overdose. Since 1999, at least 450,000 people in the United States have died as a result of overdoses of both prescription and illegal opioids.
The new agreement provides for payments in installments over the next 10 years.
At the same time, one of the key conditions under the restructuring plan is to ensure that the funds will be primarily used to combat the opioid crisis in the country. The plan provides for the creation of special trusts that will distribute funds for the fight programs.
Members of the Sackler family will not be involved in the management and operations of the company after it emerges from bankruptcy, Purdue said in a statement. A new independent board of directors will exercise control over the reorganized company.
The restructuring plan submitted by the company in accordance with article 11 of the Bankruptcy Code must be approved by a judge. The final decision is not expected until the summer, writes The Wall Street Journal.