The company that made billions selling OxyContin has filed for bankruptcy protection

Eddie Davis steps up to the gravestone of his son Jeremy who died from the abuse of opioids in Coalton Ohio

Eddie Davis steps up to the gravestone of his son Jeremy who died from the abuse of opioids in Coalton Ohio

Purdue Pharma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York Sunday as part of its framework for settling litigation with multiple states and governments.

The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in White Plains, New York on Sunday evening, as part of its efforts to finalize a settlement with state and local governments, which sued the pharmaceutical giant en mass for its role in the nation's deadly opioid crisis.

As well as giving up control of Purdue, the settlement will also see the wealthy Sackler family personally contribute $3 billion, with the potential for further monetary contributions.

Fierce resistance persists from about half the states, which have refused to support the settlement and instead have vowed to take the Sacklers to state courts in an attempt to tap into the family's fortunes tied up in foreign investments.

Numerous plaintiffs accused the company of making huge profits from selling the painkiller, first introduced in 1996, while downplaying its addictive qualities, thus fueling the USA opioid crisis, which has seen over 200,000 people dying as result of overdoses with prescription drugs from 1999 to 2017.

Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations in the lawsuits.

Opposing states, including Massachusetts, New York and CT, want the Sacklers to guarantee more of their own money will go toward a settlement, and have questioned Purdue's calculations valuing the overall deal at more than $10 billion.

"This is the fork in the road".

Purdue Chairman Steve Miller said the proposals will "provide billions of dollars and critical resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opioid crisis". He described bankruptcy proceedings as the "best hope for finalising and implementing a global resolution to this litigation".

The bankruptcy announcement comes several days after the Sackler family behind the controversial drug maker reached a tentative multi-billion-dollar settlement with 23 states, which envisages it paying the sum over seven years while not admitting guilt.

The outcome of Purdue's attempted bankruptcy reorganization and settlement negotiations will help determine how much money United States communities receive from the company and the Sacklers to address harm from opioids.

US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain has been assigned to oversee Purdue's Chapter 11 case.

The company that made billions selling OxyContin has filed for bankruptcy protection

Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that authorities had discovered that the Sackler family had wired about $1 billion between the owners of Purdue Pharma, the entities they control and different financial institutions.

In 2017, 47,000 people died in the USA as a result of overdosing on opioids including prescription drugs, heroin and fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The drug maker said the value of the settlement is around $10 billion, but the states opposed to the deal have contested that estimate. Under the proposal's terms, the restructured Purdue would be permanently bound by so-called injunctive relief, which includes restrictions on the promotion and sale of opioids.

The family has rejected calls by some state attorneys general to boost their guarantee to $4.5bn, and nearly 25 states are opposing the family's settlement offer.

The Sackler family was listed by Forbes magazine in 2016 as one of the 20 wealthiest in the U.S. In a court filing last week, the NY attorney general's office contended that the family had transferred $1 billion to itself through a Swiss and other hidden bank accounts.

Opponents argue Purdue's plan isn't enough of a reckoning for the Sacklers, who made billions from the over-prescribing of OxyContin that was spurred by the company's allegedly illegal marketing.

Opposing states, including Massachusetts, New York and CT, want the Sacklers to guarantee more of their own money will go toward a settlement, and have questioned Purdue's calculations valuing the overall deal at more than $10bn.

"There is nothing newsworthy about these decade-old transfers, which were perfectly legal and appropriate in every respect", a spokesman for Mortimer D.A. Sackler said in a statement.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, told The Associated Press that a settlement would avoid a lengthy legal fight and deliver money more quickly to treat opioid-related problems.

Vincent Buccola, a lawyer and professor of business ethics, said Purdue may be trying to avoid going to court in states that have been deeply harmed by the opioid epidemic. The company spent $250m this year alone on legal fees and costs to defend the cases, the officials said.

Their lawsuits against Purdue will be frozen and their claims likely shifted into bankruptcy court.

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