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posted by janrinok on Tuesday September 10 2019, @02:58AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-a-pain dept.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is expected to file for bankruptcy after settlement talks over the nation's deadly overdose crisis hit an impasse, attorneys general involved in the talks said Saturday.

The breakdown puts the first federal trial over the opioid epidemic on track to begin next month, likely without Purdue, and sets the stage for a complex legal drama involving nearly every state and hundreds of local governments.

Purdue, the family that owns the company and a group of state attorneys general had been trying for months to find a way to avoid trial and determine Purdue's responsibility for a crisis that has cost 400,000 American lives over the past two decades.

An email from the attorneys general of Tennessee and North Carolina, obtained by The Associated Press, said that Purdue and the Sackler family had rejected two offers from the states over how payments under any settlement would be handled and that the family declined to offer counterproposals.

"As a result, the negotiations are at an impasse, and we expect Purdue to file for bankruptcy protection imminently," Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein wrote in their message, which was sent to update attorneys general throughout the country on the status of the talks.

[...] The impasse in the talks comes about six weeks before the scheduled start of the first federal trial under the Cleveland litigation, overseen by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster. That trial will hear claims about the toll the opioid epidemic has taken on two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit.

A bankruptcy filing by Purdue would most certainly remove the company from that trial.

The bankruptcy judge would have wide discretion on how to proceed. That could include allowing the claims against other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies to move ahead while Purdue's cases are handled separately. Three other manufacturers have already settled with the two Ohio counties to avoid the initial trial.

-- submitted from IRC

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 10 2019, @12:08PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 10 2019, @12:08PM (#892181) Journal

    We should probably keep a few things in mind. Opioids have been around, and in more or less common use, much longer than Purdue has existed. Opioids have been pretty strictly controlled for at least the past 80 years. Purdue is directly responsible for false statements made to congress, and then widely circulated throughout the legal and medical professions. Those false statements have influenced lawmakers and physicians alike, resulting in the opioid crisis we see today.

    Physicians who have been negligent in their prescriptions should be wary of writing more negligent prescriptions. And, regulators should be watching for physician negligence.

    We need to be somewhere close to conditions in the 1990's. Stuff was available, but you couldn't just wheedle it out of a doctor, because you had a common headache. Stepping away from being active pushers is most certainly not a bad thing.

    ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +2  
       Interesting=1, Informative=1, Total=2
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   4