Purdue Pharma, State of Oklahoma Announce Opioid Lawsuit Settlement

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Attorney General announced a $270 million settlement deal that was reached with Purdue Pharma, manufacturers of OxyContin, and its owners, just two months before a trial was set to begin. The lawsuit was being watched closely throughout the country as a number of other U.S. states and local governments pursue legal action against opioid manufacturers.

In the Oklahoma settlement, Purdue Pharma will pay over $100 million to establish a new addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University; the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, will also contribute an additional $75 million over five years to the center. Over $70 million will be paid to Oklahoma counties, cities, and tribes for litigation costs and expenses incurred from opioid use disorders and overdoses. $20 million will be utilized for addiction treatment and medical services. Purdue Pharma also agreed not to promote opioids in the state of Oklahoma.

Legal action in Oklahoma against other pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Johnson and Johnson, is still set to occur in late May. The deal reached with Purdue Pharma is significantly greater than its previous settlements with other states; Purdue settled with West Virginia in 2004 for $10 million and with Kentucky in 2015 for $24 million.

It remains to be seen how the Oklahoma-Purdue Pharma settlement deal with impact other pending litigation and legal actions being pursued by other state and local governments throughout the U.S.