OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, are in discussions to settle more than 2,000 opioid lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion.
Purdue is among several drug makers and distributors that have been sued for fueling an opioid addiction crisis in the United States, which claimed 400,000 lives from 1999 to 2017, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The lawsuits have accused the Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma of aggressively marketing prescription opioids while misleading prescribers and consumers about risks from their prolonged use. Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations.
Purdue said it was actively working with state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to reach a resolution, without specifying a settlement amount.
There is currently no agreement and the settlement discussions could collapse, sources said.
Representatives for Purdue and the Sackler family held discussions with cities, counties and states on the contours ofthe potential multi billion-dollar settlement last week in Cleveland, said a person familiar with the matter.
During the meeting, Purdue outlined a plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a mechanism for implementing the settlement, which the company hopes will address the lawsuits, the person said.
The Sacklers would cede control of Purdue under the settlement terms discussed last week.
All the parties face a Friday deadline to update a federal judge on the status of the negotiations.
The company has said the US Food and Drug Administration approved labels for OxyContin that warned about risk and abuse associated with treating pain. The Sacklers have argued they were passive board members who approved routine management requests rather than micromanaging the marketing of OxyContin.