Purdue Pharma who makes Oxycontin is expected to be filing for bankruptcy. This news comes after some settlement talks that took place on the weekend. There had been some proposals that might have led to the result of the company profiting from sales of the drug in the future. The opposition felt that this would be a perverse outcome.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died over the last couple of decades because of an opioid epidemic. Oxycontin is believed by many to be one of the leading drugs that have led to this outbreak. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2017, with 47,000 fatalities reported as a result of an opioid overdose within the same year.
Eventually, the state of Kentucky sued Purdue Pharma citing misrepresentation of the nature of OxyContin and unethical selling practices. As the manufacturer of this powerful opioid, Purdue Pharma was well-aware of the risk of abuse and addiction, yet they marketed OxyContin as a non-habit-forming painkiller. Individuals soon became addicted to this opioid and sales skyrocketed. The loss of lives and the tremendous cost to Americans are outrageous.
Johnson & Johnson received a 572 million-dollar judgment against them from a lawsuit for negligent opioid use. The maker of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, was proposed a settlement that would have set up a trust that would have paid money to States to help cover the cost of the opioid epidemic.
The problem that opponents had with this proposal was the fact that to them it seemed that States would be incentivized to treat people with an opioid addiction rather than look for ways to end the epidemic. The opponents felt that this would be a perverse use of profits made from the sales of this drug.
According to the Attorney General, the company rejected two different offers made to them and they refuse to offer any alternate terms. This led to the negotiations coming to an impasse. This means that the company is almost certain to file for bankruptcy protection. Purdue Pharma feels that this path will likely benefit America at large as opposed to the company going through years of court litigation. The owners of the company want to avoid a trial that could potentially make them responsible for one of the biggest Public Health crises in the history of the country.
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