Purdue Pharma LP the maker of the pain narcotic OxyCotin is currently evaluating bankruptcy filing options. This follows a potential two-thousand lawsuits against the company due to their contribution in the opioid crisis extending across the United States.
Purdue Pharma is owned and operated by the Sackler family, and this potential move shows the sheer amount of pressure they are currently enduring. Mounting litigation is accusing Purdue of misleading doctors, patients, and staff about the potential hazards and risks associated with prolonged use of prescription opioids.
Purdue Pharma fervently denies the claims and debates that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its prescription opioids which detailed the risks associated with abusing the pain medication.
If Purdue decides to pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy it would stop the lawsuits and allow the company to discuss legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge.
Purdue is not alone however as other drug manufacturers like Endo International Plc and Insys Therapeutics Inc, have been named in lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. Many of the plaintiffs’ lawyers have compared this situation to the widespread lawsuits against the tobacco industry in 1998 concluding in a $246 billion dollar settlement.
Purdue Pharma will go to trial in May, in a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma’s attorney general that is also accusing the company of contributing to the opioid epidemic and the fatal overdoses as a result.
Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 according to the most recent information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Oklahoma lawsuit and other cases seek damages from Purdue Pharma and other pharmaceutical manufacturers accused of perpetuating the opioid crisis. In addition to lawsuits consolidated in an Ohio federal court, more than 300 cases are pending in state courts and dozens of state attorneys general have sued manufacturers, including Purdue.