Kansas Bankruptcy Settlement With Purdue Pharma To Provide Resources For Opioid Crisis

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) – A $ 10 billion Kansas bankruptcy settlement with Purdue Pharma will provide resources and support for the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt has said the proceeds of a bankruptcy settlement with opioid maker Purdue Pharma will provide resources to help prevent and treat addiction in Kansas.

According to AG Schmidt, a federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday (September 1) approved a settlement worth up to $ 10 billion with Purdue Pharma to resolve the ongoing litigation over the manufacture and marketing of pain relievers that contributed to the overdose epidemic in the past 20 years.

Schmidt said he sued Purdue in May 2019 and the company filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter. Wednesday’s settlement will resolve Kansas’ claims against the company that will send $ 35 million over 10 years to the state. The final amount will be known once Purdue’s assets are liquidated over the next several years and the distribution formula is finalized. The settlement will end litigation against the drug company brought by state, local and tribal governments across the country.

“We remain committed to holding accountable those who have hurt so many Kansans by peddling addiction for profit,” Schmidt said. “Through the work of the Kansas Legislature in dedicating these funds that we are recovering now, these companies will pay to help break the cycle of addiction for many more Kansans in the future.” “

According to Kansas AG, the settlement forces the Sackler family, who own the company, to quit the opioid business, but contributes $ 4.5 billion to the global settlement fund to establish prevention and treatment programs. Purdue will be reorganized with a board appointed by officials and will direct profits to government-run programs to prevent and treat drug addiction. He said a compensation fund will be created that will pay some drug addiction victims and the families of those who have died of overdoses between $ 3,500 and $ 48,000 each.

Schmidt said Kansas also officially joined a separate settlement announced on July 25 with Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Corporation, the country’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors, as well as Johnson & Johnson. In addition to the financial terms, he said distributors have agreed to changes in the industry to help prevent a similar crisis from happening. Johnson & Johnson will stop selling opioids, fund or provide grants to third parties for the promotion of opioids, and will not lobby opioid-related activities.

Overall, Schmidt said Kansas expects to get between $ 90 million and $ 190 million over 17 years from the four settlements announced in July. The range varies because several circumstances will affect how much each state gets. He said the two biggest variables are the number of local Kansas jurisdictions that join in settling the claims and the amount of attorney fees payable to the many private attorneys involved in the litigation. He said his office handled these cases without hiring an outside lawyer.

Earlier in 2021, Schmidt said that a deal with McKinsey and Company, which totaled $ 4.8 million for Kansas, would be used for drug addiction treatment and addiction reduction. This settlement resolved allegations that the company violated Kansas’ consumer protection law by helping opioid companies illegally promote drugs and profit from the epidemic.

Schmidt said he also entered into a separate tentative agreement to resolve the Kansas opioid-related claims against Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals plc. Like Purdue, he said the company has filed for bankruptcy and negotiations through bankruptcy court are ongoing. Kansas has also joined in ongoing negotiations with other companies that the state says have played a role in fueling opioid addiction.

According to Schmidt, Kansas lawmakers have approved his proposal to ensure that funds recovered through these regulations will be used to combat drug addiction and help ensure that services are provided statewide. He said funding will be available through a grant review committee established by law. State agencies, local governments and non-profit entities will be able to seek funding for drug treatment and reduction through this council, which is currently being formed.

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