Key States Agree to Revised Deal with Purdue Pharma, Sacklers

By Erik Larson and Jeremy Hill | July 8, 2021

Purdue Pharma LP won the support of more than a dozen states that had opposed its $4.5 billion bankruptcy plan after members of the Sackler family that own it agreed to pay more money and relinquish control of two family foundations.

An agreement in principle was reached with New York and several other states that had been objecting to Purdue’s Chapter 11 reorganization. New York Attorney General Letitia James said the deal was “not perfect” but would quickly deliver aid to states if approved.

The pact brings Purdue and its owners, members of the billionaire Sackler family, much closer to shedding the crushing opioid lawsuits that drove the company into bankruptcy in 2019. Purdue’s advisers have been struggling to win the support of more than 20 dissenting state attorneys general since the case began.

“We’ll be able to more quickly invest these funds in prevention, education and treatment programs, and put an end to the delays and legal maneuvering that could possibly continue for years and across multiple continents,” James said in a statement.

Naming Rights Ban

The new resolution includes an additional $50 million from members of the Sackler family, a prohibition on their naming rights related to charitable contributions until the settlement is satisfied, and control of family foundations worth at least $175 million. That’s on top of the more than $4 billion that Sackler family members have agreed to pay to resolve pending opioid lawsuits.

“This resolution to the mediation is an important step toward providing substantial resources for people and communities in need,” the Raymond and Mortimer Sackler families said in an emailed statement. “The Sackler family hopes these funds will help achieve that goal.”

A representative for Purdue didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The other states that dropped their objection to the deal with Purdue and members of the Sackler family are Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to the filing.

The deal also includes the expansion of a planned public document repository to include “tens of millions of documents,” including information previously subject to attorney-client privilege, court papers show. Those documents will include communications about the Food and Drug Administration approval of OxyContin and opioid marketing information, according a statement from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Top Photo: Bottles of Purdue Pharma L.P. OxyContin medication on a pharmacy shelf in Provo, Utah, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.