Pennsylvania would receive $225 million to fight the opioid-addiction epidemic from a new agreement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, the state attorney general’s office said Thursday.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania was among the state attorneys general who had opposed Purdue’s original settlement proposal, before joining an agreement with 14 other states that was disclosed late Wednesday night.
In a statement, Shapiro, a Democrat, said the updated deal isn’t perfect, and that Sackler family members who own the company have used bankruptcy “as a shield for true accountability for their role in jet-fueling this epidemic that takes 13 lives a day” in Pennsylvania.
Weeks of mediations resulted in changes to Purdue’s original plan, including an increase in the original $3 billion offered to $4.5 billion. Pennsylvania’s share would be $225 million, Shapiro’s office said.
“I know there is no amount of money that can make up for the loss of the parents, siblings, children and neighbors, but we intend to put these billions to work immediately to help address this crisis moving forward and to save lives,” Shapiro said.
Purdue sought bankruptcy protection in 2019 as a way to settle about 3,000 lawsuits it faced from state and local governments and other entities over its marketing of the prescription painkiller.
Sackler family members are not admitting any wrongdoing and no court has found any by a family member.