Thursday, March 28, 2019

Purdue Pharma pays Oklahoma $270 million in opioid settlement, avoids a televised trial

Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay the state of Oklahoma a $270 million settlement, resolving the first of more than 1,600 pending lawsuits against the controversial manufacturer of painkillers.

"Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed suit two years ago alleging Purdue helped ignite the opioid crisis with aggressive marketing of the blockbuster drug OxyContin and deceptive claims that downplayed the dangers of addiction," Martha Bebinger reports for NPR. Two other firms were sued.

The settlement, far less than the $20 billion Hunter originally asked for, will fund addiction research and treatment and pay for legal fees. It comes "one day after the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied Purdue's appeal for a delay of the trial," which the judge ruled can be televised, Bebinger reports. The trial is "expected to begin on May 28, with the remaining defendants, including Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals."

A larger case in Ohio consolidates thousands of lawsuits brought by counties, communities, hospitals and others against nearly two dozen defendants in the pharmaceutical industry, Bebinger reports

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