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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: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 10 2019, @04:05PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 10 2019, @04:05PM (#892257) Journal

    Yes, the company did wrong with the way they advised their products be used and more. No, not every prescription for opioids was wrong. And what's happening here has already made physicians much more fearful of giving strong pain medication even when it is indicated, and will do nothing but drive the prices of the drugs up further. Making them harder to obtain sounds like a good thing until it's you lying in a postop bed.

    Keep in mind that it's much easier for the prescribing doctor to control your access to such medications when you're lying in a postop bed.

    Also, how much of Purdue's production went to drug abuse? It looks like illegal use was a important part of their business model and that they pursued strategies for increasing that illegal consumption.