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Sackler Family Sweetens Opioid Settlement Offer

HealthDay News
Updated: Feb 22nd 2022

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TUESDAY, Feb. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The wealthy Sackler family upped its cash offer to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against the family and their company, Purdue Pharma.

Instead of paying out $4.5 billion, the company is now offering $6 billion to settle the slew of lawsuits.

But the family still wants all civil claims against them related to Purdue and opioids ended, and a ban on future such claims, according to a mediator's report filed late last week in bankruptcy court, The New York Times reported.

Eight states and the District of Columbia refused to sign on to an earlier proposal because of those protections for the Sacklers.

In her new mediator report, federal bankruptcy judge Shelley Chapman said that a “supermajority” of those states agreed to the new, sweetened offer, but there are still holdouts and no deal has been reached, according to the Times.

The bankruptcy plan requires that the Sackler money, plus billions more from Purdue, fund programs from states, municipalities and tribes that are dedicated to the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction, and to compensate victims.

“We remain focused on achieving our goal of providing urgently needed funds to the American people for opioid crisis abatement," Purdue Pharma said in a statement, the Times reported. "We believe a global settlement is the swiftest and most cost-effective exit path from Chapter 11 and we will continue working to build consensus.”

While negotiations continue on the second offer, a stay against all litigation against Purdue and the Sacklers that has been in place since September 2019 was extended this week until March 3, the Times reported.

In their earlier cash settlement offer, the Sacklers said they would pay a total of $4.55 billion, including a $225 million federal settlement. The new offer is for $5.5 billion, plus an additional $500 million contingent on the sale of their international pharmaceutical companies, the Times reported.

The Sacklers' efforts to protect themselves from liability have been criticized widely by legal experts and the public.

More information

Visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse for more on the dangers of opioids.

SOURCE: The New York Times