Members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma LP have offered to pay up to $6 billion to revive the OxyContin maker’s endangered opioid settlement, an increase of more than $1 billion from to their existing proposal.
The new settlement offer would see the Sackler family pay at least $5.5 billion, with additional money depending on certain asset sales, court-appointed mediator U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley said on Friday. Chapman, in a report. A final agreement has not been reached, according to the mediator.
The Sacklers and a handful of state attorneys general have been in mediation for two months, after a New York judge rejected an earlier deal brokered in the company’s bankruptcy. This settlement would have resolved billions of dollars in claims by state and local governments over the company’s role in the opioid crisis and would give members of the Sackler family broad immunity from future lawsuits.
As part of the deal, Purdue will turn over nearly all of its assets to states, cities and counties that are suing the drugmaker over its handling of the painkiller OxyContin. Billions of dollars would also be provided to fund drug addiction programs.
But the plan to grant Purdue owners immunity from future opioid lawsuits has been a sticking point, drawing ire from some state and local politicians. Attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia, as well as a branch of the US Department of Justice, successfully overturned the settlement on appeal after a Purdue bankruptcy judge approved it last year.
Most, but not all, of the dissenting states accepted the new settlement offer, according to the mediator’s report. The Sacklers’ offer is contingent on unanimous support, the report said.
“We remain focused on achieving our goal of providing the American people with the urgently needed funds for easing the opioid crisis,” Michele Sharp, a Purdue spokeswoman, said in an email. “We believe that a global settlement is the fastest and most cost-effective route out of Chapter 11 and we will continue to work to reach consensus throughout the appeals process with the United States Court of Appeals. United for the second circuit.”
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who was among those opposing the previous offer, declined to comment on the mediator’s report on Friday. Representatives for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Representatives for the family’s Mortimer Sackler and Raymond Sackler wings did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Chapman requested that the court-ordered mediation be extended until February 28. The previous order expired on Wednesday.
The bankruptcy filing is Purdue Pharma LP, 19-23649, US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (White Plains).
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