Three major drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson are on the verge of paying out to cover thousands of lawsuits over the toll of opioids, a crisis that killed nearly 500,000 in the US from 1999 to 2019.
In a far-reaching plea deal, Purdue formally admitted to criminal conduct related to distribution of its painkillers and agreed to pay $225 million to resolve US Justice Department investigations.
Purdue Pharma, the company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids.
The transfers bolster allegations by New York and other states that the Sacklers worked to shield their wealth in recent years because of mounting worries about legal threats.
It is the first settlement to come out of the recent coast-to-coast wave of nearly 2,000 lawsuits against Purdue Pharma over allegations that they helped create the nation's deadly opioid crisis with aggressive marketing of the powerful painkiller.
In one New York county, doctors are struggling to keep up with the constant autopsies from overdoses. We speak with families whose children's addictions began with prescription drugs. Is Big Pharma the cause of the epidemic?
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