Purdue’s Sacklers consider adding another $1 billion to opioid settlement – Bloomberg News

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FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin at a local pharmacy

– Members of the billionaire Sackler family that owns Purdue Pharma are weighing whether to add $1 billion to the OxyContin-maker’s faltering opioid settlement bid in an effort to win over holdouts, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

The addition would bring the family’s total contribution to $5.325 billion to get a handful of U.S. state attorneys general to drop their opposition to Purdue’s bankruptcy plan, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.

Purdue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, a mediator reported that the OxyContin-maker and U.S. states were “even closer” to a settlement over claims that the company fueled a U.S. opioid epidemic.

The mediator asked a bankruptcy judge to extend the deadline for negotiations to Feb. 16 from Feb. 7, saying that the two sides need more time to finalize a deal that would involve “substantial” additional money from the Sacklers. The new settlement would also include non-monetary concessions.

Purdue, the maker of the highly addictive opioid pain drug OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in 2019 in the face of thousands of lawsuits accusing it and wealthy Sackler family members who owned the company of helping cause the U.S. opioid epidemic through deceptive marketing that played down addiction and overdose risks.

The company pleaded guilty to misbranding and fraud charges related to its marketing of OxyContin in 2007 and 2020. The Sacklers have denied wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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