A federal bankruptcy judge has approved with conditions a historic opioid settlement between Purdue Pharma and thousands of local and state governments.
The agreement accepted Wednesday caps a long-running legal drama involving a company that had come to symbolize the corporate culpability behind an epidemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives over the past two decades.
Under the settlement, the OxyContin maker will be reorganized into a new company that will funnel its profits into efforts to fight the overdose crisis.
The new company will develop and distribute millions of doses of opioid addiction treatment and overdose reversal medicines, according to Purdue Pharma.
Members of the Sackler family will give up ownership of the company and pay $4.5 billion, but they also will be freed from any future civil liability involving opioids.
“Instead of years of value-destructive litigation, including between and among creditors, this Plan ensures that billions of dollars will be devoted to helping people and communities who have been hurt by the opioid crisis,” wrote Steve Miller, chairman of Purdue Pharma’s board of directors, in a statement.