Purdue Pharma may have reached a bankruptcy settlement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, but several states intend to press forward by appealing the decision of Judge Robert Drain.
Judge Drain’s decision would direct $4.5 billion over a decade to support measures intended to fight the opioid crisis. “Substantially all of Purdue’s assets will be transferred to a new company with a public-minded mission,” read part of a statement on the Purdue Pharma website.
Purdue Pharma had previously agreed in principle to a $3 billion bankruptcy agreement in September 2019.
The Sackler family that owned the company won immunity against further legal action in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy deal. The Sacklers furthermore will be barred from dealings with other pharmaceutical companies.
Last week, Drain had surmised that the Sacklers faced a “substantial risk” of being “liable for huge amounts of money.”
The deal also forces the Sacklers to relinquish control over the firm.
The firm will not disappear but will persist under the ownership of the National Opioid Abatement Trust (NOAT). Indian Tribes and Tribal Organization will hold a minority interest.
“We are disappointed with today’s ruling confirming the plan of reorganization for Purdue Pharma by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh in a statement. “This plan releases from liability members of the Sackler family and others who participated in or directed Purdue’s illegal acts that contributed to the opioid crisis.”
At least nine states have objected to the bankruptcy deal.
Some 500,000 people have died in the wake of the opioid crisis. In 2019, HHS estimated that 10 million people had abused opioids.