Speed Reads

opioid crisis

Purdue's proposed settlement could be in trouble after it was revealed how much Sacklers profited

It's becoming a little clearer just how much cash the Sackler family raked in from their ownership of Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical giant known for making OxyContin and allegedly playing a major role in the opioid epidemic plaguing the United States.

Bankruptcy court filings revealed that Purdue reportedly sent $12 billion or $13 billion in profits to the Sacklers, The Wall Street Journal reports, though it's not clear what years the distribution covered.

The figure is relevant as some states, cities, and tribes are looking to settle lawsuits with Purdue, which has been accused of fueling the opioid crisis through its marketing of OxyContin, while others argue the Sacklers should contribute more than they have agreed to so far. Purdue and the Sacklers deny the allegations about their role in the crisis, but they tentatively struck a deal with some states and local governments, in which the Sacklers would contribute $3 billion toward a potentially $12 billion total settlement.

The recent revelations are likely to "bolster resistance" to the settlement, however, the Journal reports. "The Sackler family is trying to take advantage of the fact that they've extracted nearly all the money out of Purdue and pushed the carcass of the company into bankruptcy," North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said Friday. "That's unacceptable." Read more at The Wall Street Journal.