15 states reach agreement, pave way for $4.5 billion settlement over opioid crisis

Fifteen states reached an agreement with Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin, concerning the company’s role in the opioid crisis.

The agreement includes a settlement of $4.5 billion, the release of millions of documents, and $50 million from the company’s owners, the Sackler family. Upon finalization, the Sacklers and their associates will be protected from future related lawsuits. In December of 2019, Purdue Pharma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to dodge over 2,500 federal and state lawsuits.

At the time, FBA reported, “The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has been a raging issue since the late 1990s. According to, healthcare providers began prescribing opioid pain relievers in the ’90s at a higher rate due to continued reassurance of the minimal addictiveness of these opioids by large pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue Pharma.”

OxyContin was over-prescribed, misused, and found to be more addictive than once presumed. Other companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, are engaged with lawsuits regarding their liability. Earlier this year, “a large cross-sectional study published in JAMA Psychiatry on Feb. 3, [found] opioid overdoses skyrocketed nearly 29 percent in 2020, another adverse effect largely due to lockdowns.” 



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Antoinette is a community college student in Sacramento, California. She is a Politics Editor at Fact Based America, a correspondent for Campus Reform, and a student journalist. She previously worked for Turning Point USA as a High School Coordinator.

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