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Hunter alleged Purdue, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd engaged in deceptive marketing that downplayed the addiction risk from opioids while overstating their benefits, contributing to the epidemic. Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The addiction crisis facing our state and nation is a clear and present danger,” Hunter said silver cufflinks and studs. Of more than 3,000 Oklahomans admitted to hospitals last year for drug overdoses that they survived, 80 percent involved prescription opioids, he said..
The companies deny wrongdoing. Purdue has argued that U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with them. The settlement came after Purdue’s chief executive this month said the company was weighing filing for bankruptcy protection to address potential liabilities from the lawsuits, a move that Reuters had reported earlier. Companies facing mounting litigation often consider a bankruptcy filing to halt lawsuits and negotiate with plaintiffs in one federal court proceeding. Hunter said the bankruptcy threat factored into the settlement talks silver cufflinks and studs.
He said Purdue was convinced to settle after being presented with an option that provides for nearly $200 million for establishing a center at Oklahoma State University (OSU) that would take a national approach toward treating addiction. “It is going to save countless lives, and it’s going to keep families together,” Hunter said at a news conference silver cufflinks and studs. Avoiding the trial with a settlement relieves immediate pressure on Purdue to seek bankruptcy protection, said Alexandra Lahav, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law..
While the company has not ruled out a bankruptcy filing, it now plans to focus on attempting a settlement with other state and local governments pursuing similar cases, a person familiar with Purdue’s deliberations said. Around 1,600 lawsuits are consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio, who has pushed for a settlement ahead of the first trial scheduled before him in October silver cufflinks and studs. “This may be the start of the dominoes falling for Purdue,” Lahav said. Members of the Sackler family in a statement called allegations that they contributed to the opioid crisis “not accurate” and argued that Tuesday’s agreement did not represent “a financial model for future settlement discussions.”..
The settlement covers only Purdue, leaving claims pending against J&J and Israel-based Teva silver cufflinks and studs. The deal was announced a day after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected an effort by Purdue and its co-defendants to delay the May 28 trial. The lawsuit alleged that Purdue’s marketing efforts helped fuel the opioid epidemic and turn OxyContin into a top-selling painkiller that by 2017 had generated an estimated $35 billion in sales since its release in 1996. Purdue and three executives in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the misbranding of OxyContin and agreed to pay a total of $634.5 million in penalties..