Purdue Pharma, the maker of the pain reliever OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday, Sept. 15 in New York, giving in to some 2,600 lawsuits in which it is accused of contributing to the opiate crisis ravaging the United States.

Purdue Pharma Board of Directors met on Sunday night to approve placement under "Chapter 11" of the Bankruptcy Act, which allows the company to continue its restructuring under a draft regulation overall litigation. Purdue President Steve Miller said in a statement that the agreement "will provide billions of dollars and vital resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opiate crisis."

Under this agreement, however, subject to court approval, the entire value of the Purdue Group will be paid to an organization established for the benefit of the plaintiffs and the US population.

Opposition to this agreement

Purdue Pharma has reached an agreement in principle to resolve disputes with 24 states and five US territories, as well as lawyers representing more than 2,000 cities, counties and other plaintiffs, the pharmaceutical group said. But some 20 states remain opposed or not committed to the proposed regulation, opening the way for legal battles to determine who is responsible for the opioid crisis in the United States, which reportedly killed 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The complainants denounce Purdue's business practices for failing to warn doctors and patients of the risks associated with prolonged opiate use.

States opposed to this regulation, including Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, want the Sackler family to guarantee more than their personal fortune and have challenged Purdue's calculations, valuing the $ 10 billion deal to end complaints.

The Sackler family, which would cede control of Purdue Pharma in this deal, proposed to inject $ 3 billion and an additional $ 1.5 billion, or even more, into the eventual sale of another company owned by them. , Mundipharma, depending on the group and people close to the case. The Sacklers refused to review their offer.

As part of the deal, the company could also provide millions of drugs needed to treat drug addiction, such as Nalmefene and Naloxone, for free or at low cost.

Highly influential in New York's Gotha, the Sacklers built their fortune on OxyContin, the powerful painkiller accused of being at the heart of the opiate crisis.

With AFP and Reuters