Sacklers Raise Opioid Compare Offer To $ 4.3 Billion – Sources
NEW YORK, Mar. 11 (Reuters) – Members of the Sackler family, owned by Purdue Pharma LP, have offered approximately $ 4.3 billion to settle extensive opioid litigation, up from $ 3 billion originally in settlement talks in the Bankruptcy proceedings were proposed by the OxyContin maker, four people familiar with the matter said.
Sackler’s family members are now ready to contribute $ 4.275 billion to settle approximately 3,000 lawsuits filed by U.S. communities holding them and Purdue responsible for the damage caused by the opioid epidemic, the sources said.
Purdue and representatives of the Sacklers declined to comment or did not immediately respond to inquiries.
Details of a far-reaching settlement could be outlined in a Purdue reorganization plan that will be filed in a US bankruptcy court next week. Purdue filed for bankruptcy in 2019 before an onslaught of opioid litigation. In November, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company pleaded guilty to three crimes related to the marketing of prescription opioid pain relievers.
An earlier proposed deal, valued by Purdue at more than $ 10 billion, guaranteed the Sacklers $ 3 billion over seven years, with additional funding from family members dependent on the sale of other international businesses they own. That offer fell to $ 2.775 billion as a practical matter after the Sacklers agreed to pay $ 225 million to settle a civil law investigation by the Department of Justice.
According to the latest proposal, the Sacklers could still use the proceeds from the sale of these companies to cover the higher $ 4.275 billion payout, but they would still have to make up for it. It’s not clear how long it would take the Sacklers to pay the proposed higher amount, but it would likely be a period of years, the sources said.
Settlement negotiations are ongoing and no final agreement has been reached among family members, Purdue and US communities complaining about the opioid crisis, including how much the Sacklers will pay.
Elsewhere in the settlement negotiations, some litigants have urged Purdue to consider a sale in lieu of a current proposal to liquidate itself and transfer assets to a nonprofit or similar entity run on behalf of the plaintiffs, no longer the Sacklers is controlled. said two people familiar with the matter.
Attorneys-general from two dozen states and Washington, DC, have spoken out against the plan because the new company would resell OxyContin what they consider to be inappropriately entangled with the addictive pain reliever.
Purdue admitted in November that it defrauded US officials and paid illegal kickbacks to both doctors and an electronic health record provider.
The company agreed to a total of $ 8.3 billion in civil penalties to resolve the U.S. Department of Justice investigation, most of which remain unpaid. A criminal penalty of $ 3.54 billion and a civil fine of $ 2.8 billion are due to be considered under the Purdue bankruptcy process along with $ trillion in unsecured claims.
Purdue agreed to pay $ 225 million for a criminal forfeiture of $ 2 billion, with the Justice Department waiving the remainder if the company’s bankruptcy reorganization creates a nonprofit or similar entity that takes the remaining 1.775 billion US dollars to US communities to fight the opioid crisis.
Sackler’s family members have not been charged. They agreed to pay $ 225 million to clear up allegations that led to false claims about OxyContin in government health programs like Medicare. You have denied the allegations.
The opioid epidemic has claimed the lives of approximately 450,000 people in the United States since 1999 from overdoses on prescription pain relievers and illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Purdue’s bankruptcy filing ended litigation against the company and the owners of the Sackler family. Since then, the company has been working to propose a reorganization plan that will serve as a blueprint for resolving the thousands of outstanding lawsuits.
Purdue’s proposal to resolve cases in a business valued at more than $ 10 billion depends largely on future donations of overdose reversal drugs and addiction treatments the company has under development.
How much the Sacklers will contribute has long been a critical sticking point in negotiations between family members, Purdue and plaintiffs. Many states rejected their original $ 3 billion offer as being too low.
In December, two members of the Sackler family apologized when they testified to a congressional panel about OxyContin’s role in the opioid crisis. The family members, who both previously served on Purdue’s board of directors, insisted that management reassured them that the company was complying with regulatory and legal requirements as the opioid crisis unfolded.
Reporting by Mike Spector; Editing by Nick Zieminski
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