Purdue Pharma filed for Bankruptcy this week on September 15th. The company announced that it’s decision to file for bankruptcy is part of an agreement to pay billions of dollars to state and local governments. Still, amongst the storm of litigations and lawsuits, the company still claims no wrong-doing or having any part in the opioid epidemic. In a statement released by the company, it said, “this court-supervised process is intended to, among other things, facilitate an orderly and equitable resolution of all claims against Purdue while preserving the value of Purdue’s assets for the benefit of those impacted by the opioid crisis.” The statement continues, “after bankruptcy filings are complete, it will provide more than $10 billion in funding to address the opioid crisis. That will include settlements with 24 state attorneys general, five US territories and attorneys in multi-district litigation”
Purdue plans on starting a new company afterwards to “reverse” the effects of overdosing. This company is planned to be called “NewCo” that will supposedly manufacture medicines to combat overdoses—let’s not forget, however, that Oxycontin was deceptively marketed by Purdue, so anyone should be skeptical of such a claim. A bankruptcy trustee will ultimately decide the fate of the Sackler’s ability to continue manufacturing Oxycontin. Meaning that a possible outcome of these legal steps could result in the end of Oxycontin manufacturing.
The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, told CNN in an interview that these settlements are a “slap in the face” to anyone who has been hurt by the opioid crisis. He said that it “allows the Sackler family to still walk away billionaires and admit no wrongdoing.”
Last week Letitia James, AG of New York, discovered the Sackler family had wired over one billion dollars of transfers between the owners of Purdue Pharma. The question of how much money the family owns in assets is now on the rise, as many questions what the Sackler’s are hiding so they’re not hurt by any payouts in settlements.
While the money being paid out in settlements is a huge step in the opioid crisis, it is important to note that these settlements are being made to end thousands of lawsuits. Essentially, the Sackler Family and Purdue Pharma are attempting to pay their way out of being labeled the epicenter of the long opioid epidemic. These settlements should be a start, not an end, to the long-overdue justice these entities must face.