OxyContin maker, local governments agree to tentative $12B deal over opioid crisis

Attorneys representing some 2,000 local governments suing Purdue Pharma say they have agreed to a tentative settlement with the OxyContin maker over the cost of the opioid crisis.

Attorney Paul Farrell says in a text message Wednesday that they have agreed to a deal in which Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue would pay up to $12 billion US and have the Sackler family, which owns the company, give up control.

The payments are expected to go to state, local and tribal governments impacted in the crisis.

The offer is the same as one publicly reported several weeks ago.

It was not clear whether the announcement signalled the end of the fraught negotiations to reach a nationwide settlement with Purdue or had moved the talks into a new phase.

The lawsuits, which have in some cases targeted the Sacklers as well as Purdue, claim the family and company contributed to a public health crisis that claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The claims allege Purdue aggressively marketed prescription painkillers while misleading doctors and patients about their addiction and overdose risks.

Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations.

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