SUPER WEALTHY CON JOB? –
March 16, 2021 – By Associated Press | March 16, 2021 at 11:53 AM EDT – Updated March 16 at 6:08 PM
(AP) – Some state attorneys general and opioid addiction activists pushed back Tuesday against a settlement offer from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, saying it didn’t include enough money and goes too far in protecting the company and family members who own it from future liability.
A group of nearly half the state attorneys general said it was disappointed in the plan Purdue filed late Monday night in federal bankruptcy court and some said they would seek changes. The lukewarm reaction from them and others raised doubts about how soon the company could emerge from bankruptcy and begin to compensate victims.
“We think it’s a step in the right direction, but we’ve got a long way to go,” said Joe Rice, one of the lead lawyers representing local governments that have sued Purdue and other companies over the toll of opioids.
The $10 billion plan calls for turning the Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant into a new company, with its profits going toward efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Members of the Sackler family who own Purdue would contribute about $4.3 billion.
A new public health-oriented arm of the transformed company would produce addiction treatment and overdose antidote drugs, and a trove of company documents would be made public.
Most of the money would go to trusts that would distribute it to state and local governments. They would be allowed to use it only on initiatives that address the opioid crisis, which has contributed to more than 470,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, a Republican, offered only tentative support Tuesday for Purdue’s plan. He said details remain to be ironed out on exactly how much money will go to state and local governments.