Lawsuits pile up against Purdue Pharma, other drug companies over OxyContin

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Photograph: Jessica Hill/AP, published in a report by The Guardian on 3/28/19.

Photograph: Jessica Hill/AP, published in a report by The Guardian on 3/28/19.

Amid hints of a pending bankruptcy filing, officials are weighing their options in a mounting legal push against Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the narcotic prescription painkiller, OxyContin.

Oklahoma settled for $270 million with Purdue and the company’s owners, the Sackler family, The Guardian reports. Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mike Hunter, feared that the state might be left unable to collect if the company filed for bankruptcy, according to the publication.

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“The $75m payment by members of the Sackler family, as part of the $270m, was a first,” The Guardian notes, “the first time the family has directly contributed toward addressing the consequences of the opioid epidemic.”

“The Oklahoma settlement is a foretaste of a barrage of civil lawsuits in the pipeline against not only Purdue but dozens of drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies as cities and states seek billions of dollars from those they blame for the biggest drug epidemic in US history,” The Guardian reports.

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