NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Purdue Pharma, the company behind the highly addictive prescription painkiller OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy.
According to Purdue Pharma, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy settlement is worth $10 billion and will go towards addressing the opioid crisis. It would allow the continued sale of the powerful painkiller while restructuring the company owned by Richard Sackler and members of his family.
As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports, not all states are on board with the filing.
Families affected by the opioid epidemic joined New York Congressman Max Rose to emphatically say “no deal” to the settlement agreement.
“I want the Sackler family charged and imprisoned as the criminal drug dealers that they are,” said Rose. “I want their wealth confiscated.”
“Continue to destroy the lives of thousands of young adults who are now suffering from the disease of addiction. They are destroying the lives of families who lost loved ones, families like my own who can never get their children back,” said Michelle Kunz, the mother of a victim of the opioid crisis.
In a statement, the chairman of Purdue’s board of directors said: “This unique framework for a comprehensive resolution will dedicate all of the assets and resources of Purdue for the benefit of the American public.”
The move aims to settle thousands of lawsuits, including those filed by states, after the drug maker was accused of deceptive practices that downplayed the addictive nature of the powerful opioid.
Affected families say there is no amount of money that will bring back their loved ones.
“This drug killed my brother. It killed thousands of Americans a day,” said Kristine Comito. “While my brother didn’t overdose, he died during a drug transaction and that drug is responsible for killing him.”
Within four months, Terry Crowl’s son Tim was addicted to opioids.
She says her Timothy was first prescribed OxyContin for his migraines.
A decade ago, the 19-year-old became one of Suffolk County’s first overdose victims.
Part of the $10 billion to $12 billion bankruptcy agreement will go towards a monetary settlement to families.
It will also fund the creation of a new company that develops an opioid reversal drug, like Naloxone, and distributes it at a low or no cost to affected communities.
The agreement would require a minimum $3 billion contribution from the Sackler family.
“Let us not forget the family enterprise behind this crisis, the family that profited off of the suffering and death of countless New Yorkers, the Sacklers,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
On Facebook, the Connecticut attorney general said “Purdue and the Sacklers cannot cry poverty while stashing billions overseas,” suggesting more money should be put on the table.
As for the next steps the attorney general in New Jersey said that the state would continue to pursue all legal options, adding that “If Purdue cannot pay for the harm it inflicted, the Sacklers will.”
Published reports expect the deal to be contested by most states.
The settlement agreement still has to be approved in court.
In a statement, the Sackler family said they had “deep compassion for the victims,” but they and Purdue Pharma did not admit to contributing to the opioid crisis.