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Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy Protection Amid Lawsuits Over Opioid Crisis - Reports

© AP Photo / Toby TalbotOxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. - Sputnik International
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US pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma - which produced and aggressively marketed the notorious opioid painkiller OxyContin - has reportedly filed for bankruptcy days after reaching a settlement deal with many state and local authorities who are suing the company over the death toll from the highly-addictive drug.

The bankruptcy filing in White Plains, New York, indicates that Purdue Pharma is using the filing as a gambit to avoid the first federal opioid trial that is scheduled to start in Cleveland on 21 October, AP said.

Earlier, the pharmaceutical giant reportedly offered authorities a proposal worth at least $10 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma has been hit with thousands of lawsuits for its role in the opioid addiction crisis that led to record-level overdoses throughout the United States dating back to the late 1990s.

According to the US National Health Institute, Purdue Pharma falsely claimed in advertisements and in statements to federal regulators that the company’s main product OxyContin was not addictive.

The potential deal was part of confidential talks with Purdue's lawyers at a meeting in Cleveland on August 20, NBC News reported earlier, citing sources familiar with the mediation.

About half of the US states have, however, refused to sign onto the multibillion settlement deal, AP said. Several states reportedly plan to object the settlement in bankruptcy court and pledge to continue litigation in other courts against members of the notorious Sackler family, which owns and runs the company.

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