Purdue preps bankruptcy as opioid settlement bid stumbles

Purdue Pharma is reported to be preparing to file for bankruptcy amid resistance to its $10-$12 billion offer to settle lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. Several states and cities have reportedly already rejected its settlement bid, according to news agency Reuters, and Purdue is now gearing up for a Chapter 11 submission before the end of this month while it waits for the final verdict on its offer. At the same time Mallinckrodt – another company embroiled in the thousands of pending lawsuits claiming pharma companies fuelled the opioid epidemic by encouraging over-prescribing of the drugs – is also eyeing bankruptcy protection, says Bloomberg. Purdue, which is the manufacturer of the widely-prescribed opioid painkiller OxyContin (oxycodone), made its settlement offer last month but has to get the deal backed by at least 35 state attorneys to get it accepted, and some states – reportedly New York and Massachusetts – have already rejected it outright. Filing for bankruptcy would stall pending lawsuits, including one due to start next month in Ohio, and could leave plaintiffs trying to tease cash out of the business if it goes into liquidation. Some industry observers have suggested the bankruptcy plan is a tactic by Purdue to try to win over more states to its settlement offer.

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