PROVIDENCE – A new bankruptcy agreement between the opioid giant Purdue Pharma and nine states will see Rhode Island receive about $45 million — more than double the original bankruptcy offer — and the company will pay another $1 billion, for a total of at least $5.5 billion. .
As part of the agreement announced Thursday, the Sackler family, owners of Purdue, will issue a statement of regret for their role in the opioid epidemic and allow institutions to remove the Sackler name from buildings and scholarships.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha said in a statement Thursday that he opposed the initial bankruptcy plan proposed for the company last year “because in my view the plan offered neither justice nor accountability, and failed to provide the adequate resources for treatment and recovery”.
“As I have said before, no amount of money will be enough to undo or compensate the Rhode Islanders for the wrongs committed by Purdue and the Sacklers,” Neronha said.
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Rhode Island will receive about $45 million from the settlement, which will more than double its recovery of about $20 million from the original bankruptcy plan. All funds will be used to fund opioid treatment and prevention.
A portion of the funds secured by the bankruptcy will go directly to cities and towns in Rhode Island, similar to a similar settlement announced in January along with other drugmakers.
The settlement leaves the provisions of Purdue’s original bankruptcy plan intact, requiring the company to be dissolved or sold by 2024 and barring the Sacklers from trading in opioids.
That initial bankruptcy plan, challenged by 23 states including Rhode Island, also required Purdue and the Sacklers to release more than 30 million documents. The settlement announced Thursday forces the disclosure of additional documents previously withheld as privileged legal advice.
Rhode Island sued Purdue and the Sacklers in 2018 and 2019, prosecute a total of eight individually named members of the Sackler family.
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The Rhode Island complaints allege the company and family peddled a series of lies to push patients towards its opioids, reaping huge profits as opioid addiction soared.
Among the allegations in the Rhode Island complaint is the fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers to protect their wealth from liability.
The deal announced Thursday requires the Sacklers to pay up to $6 billion.
In January, several other major drug distributors and key players reached a $112 million settlement with Rhode Island and its 39 communities over their role in the opioid crisis that has killed at least 361 people in the state of ocean last year.
Under the terms, drug distributors McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc. have agreed to pay $90.8 million over the next 18 years, Neronha said.
Opioid maker Johnson & Johnson will pay $21.1 million over nine years. In a separate settlement reached last year, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. agreed to pay $2.5 million over the next five years.
Email Tom Mooney at: [email protected] or call 401-277-7359