According to media reports, the US pharmaceutical company Purdue is willing to pay billions to avoid controversial opioid painkillers. NBC News reported that Purdue could pay between ten and twelve billion dollars for an out-of-court settlement in Cleveland, Ohio.

The company confirmed talks about an out of court settlement, but not the sum called by NBC News . Purdue Pharma is ready to "energetically" defend itself in a lawsuit against allegations, but wants to avoid years of litigation, it said in a statement.

In Cleveland, Ohio, nearly 2,300 cases are brought together that require states, cities, and other plaintiffs to seek compensation from a number of companies for the opiate crisis. It's about hundreds of billions of euros.

The Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue and other companies is accused of having played down the risks of addictive painkillers during prolonged use in aggressive marketing campaigns. The company rejects this. In the US, between 1999 and 2017, nearly 400,000 people died as a result of opioid abuse. In 2017 alone, there were approximately 47,600 deaths nationwide.

On Monday, a court in the state of Oklahoma convicted Johnson & Johnson of a $ 572 million compensation payment. Purdue Pharma had avoided a trial in the state by paying $ 270 million.