(Reuters) – OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and its owners, the Sackler family, are in discussion to settle more than 2,000 opioid lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Purdue is among several drugmakers 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 U.S. 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, the sources said.
Representatives for Purdue and the Sackler family held discussions with cities, counties and states on the contours of the potential multibillion-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.