New York (dpa) - The US pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, against which more than 2000 pending lawsuits are pending for its addictive painkiller Oxycontin, has filed for bankruptcy.
With the bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 11 Purdue wants to settle the complaints, as the company announced on Sunday evening (local time) in New York. The company is to be transferred to a public-sector foundation.
States, cities and counties are demanding billions of dollars back from the company they spend on fighting opiate dependency and overdose. Opioids are partly synthetically produced drugs - such as Oxycontin - with, among other things, analgesic properties.
Originally, the authorities wanted to pay up to $ 12 billion (about 11 billion euros) in damages, but the Purdue officials could agree with them on a settlement amount of more than 10 billion US dollars. That would be the highest settlement ever in connection with the rampant wave of opioid dependency in the US.
It was not until the end of August that a court had ordered the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company to pay $ 572 million for unlawful marketing of addictive painkillers. Johnson & Johnson immediately announced that it would appeal the decision. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter accused the corporation of being a pioneer in the opioid wave and drug crisis with addictive analgesics.