Opioid crisis killed nearly 500,000 people, and opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma demands an end to all civil liability

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​


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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco


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Editor: Daniela Polo


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Opioid crisis killed nearly 500,000 people, and opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma demands an end to all civil liability

Purdue Pharma (manufactures and markets medications)

Controversy: The Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, demands an end to all civil liability claims over opioids against them and that such claims be prohibited in the future.
The Sackler family has offered up to $6 billion to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against them and their company, Purdue Pharma, according to a mediator’s report filed on February 18, 2022 in the bankruptcy court.

The Sacklers would pay a total of $5.5 billion, with an additional amount of up to $500 million, contingent on the sale of their international pharmaceutical companies.

A stay on all litigations against both Purdue and the Sacklers, which has been in place since September 2019, was extended this week and is now set to expire on March 3, 2022.
In the meantime, after their earlier proposed settlement was rejected by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, Purdue and the Sackler family have filed an appeal with the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 2022.

The mediator, Judge Chapman, has requested an extension of the deadline for mediation talks until February 28, 2022. The mediator suggested that further talks could either reach an end or craft a different set of plans that would not necessitate “unanimous acceptance.”

The State of New York is to pay $200,000 in attorneys’ fees to a trade group for generic drugmakers that successfully challenged part of the state’s 2018 Opioid Stewardship Act. Judge Katherine Polk Failla on February 18, 2022 approved this fee award negotiated by the state and the Association for Accessible Medicines.

What are the side effects of opioids?

  • Besides addiction, opioids have been related to several negative side effects, including:
  • Sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness