US Politics

Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy protection

Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy protection in New York on Sunday amid a rash of nationwide lawsuits against the company alleging they contributed to the deadly US opioid epidemic.

Members of the pharmaceuticals companys board on Sunday night approved the Chapter 11 filing, which the company aims to use to restructure itself to satisfy terms outlined in the proposed settlements of many of the 2,600 federal and state lawsuits against them.

“This is the fork in the road. There are only two ways to go from here,” said Purdue Chairman Steve Miller.

He characterized the legal method as the “best hope for finalizing and implementing a global resolution to this litigation.”

Nearly every state, and thousands of cities and counties, have sued the Purdue, claiming the pharma giant aggressively hawked the prescription painkiller without revealing to doctors or patients the drugs addictive nature. The companys controlling Sackler family have also been the target of suits.

The plaintiffs are seeking billions of dollars in damages, alleging the two are partly responsible for the public health crisis thats killed nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017.

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