Purdue Pharma, producer of OxyContin, reached a provisional agreement on Wednesday with about half of the states and thousands of local governments on its role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic, but criticisms from various attorneys general have clouded the prospects for ending disputes against the company and the family that owns it.
The attorney general of the Arizona Mark Brnovich stated that the agreement includes more money from the Sackler family, which has become a critical point during the recent talks.
"The talks are progressing rapidly, but this is the quickest and safest way to get immediate relief for Arizona and the communities that have been damaged by the opiate crisis and the actions of the Sackler family," Brnovich told The Associated Press.
Sources with direct knowledge of the talks claim that Purdue, based in Stamford, Conn, will pay up to $ 12 billion in US time and that the Sackler family will give up control of the company. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly.
Even with the development on Wednesday, about half of the states had not signed and several state prosecutors promised to continue their legal battles against the company and the Sacklers. About 20 states have sued the Sacklers in state courts.
New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut were among the states that claimed they were not part of the agreement.
"Death and destruction"
"Our position remains firm and unchanged and nothing has changed for us today," Connecticut attorney general William Tong said in a statement.
"The extent and extent of the pain, death and destruction that Purdue and the Sacklers have caused far outweighs all that has been offered so far. Connecticut's focus is on the victims and their families and hold Purdue responsible and the Sacklers for the crisis they have caused. "
He said the state would continue to prosecute Purdue should he file for bankruptcy under the settlement agreement, as expected.
New York attorney General Letitia James has accused looters of "attempting to evade responsibility and reduce the millions of victims of the opiate crisis".
"An agreement that does not take into account the depth of pain and destruction caused by Purdue and the Sacklers is an insult, clear and simple," James said in a statement. "As an attorney general, I will continue to seek justice for the victims and fight to hold the bad actors accountable, no matter how powerful they may be."
Feel responsible for it
The news of the provisional agreement comes as the federal trial's first date approaches in the hundreds of cases intended to hold Purdue and others in the pharmaceutical industry responsible for a national opioid crisis that caused the death of nearly 400,000 people 1999 and 2017, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The lawsuits state that Purdue aggressively sold OxyContin as a drug with a low risk of addiction, knowing that it was not true.
In court, Purdue pointed out that his products were approved by federal regulators and prescribed by doctors.
In March, Purdue and members of the Sackler family reached a $ 270 million deal with the Oklahoma to avoid an opioid toll process.
A judicial deposit made public in Massachusetts this year states that members of the Sackler family have been paid by Purdue for over 4 billion dollars from 2007 to 2018. It is believed that much of the family's fortune takes place outside the United States, which could complicate cases against the family over opioids.
The Sacklers have given money to cultural institutions around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Tate Modern in London.