targeted by more than 2,000 complaints related to the opiate crisis, the US group will go bankrupt

The US pharmaceutical group, a manufacturer of one of the leading painkillers based on opiates, hopes to draw $ 10 billion from this bankruptcy.

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Purdue Pharma's head office in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
Purdue Pharma's head office in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. DOUGLAS HEALEY / AP

The US pharmaceutical group Purdue Pharma announced on Sunday, September 15, that it was going to declare bankruptcy in the context of an amicable agreement, hoping to draw $ 10 billion to settle thousands of complaints related to the crisis opiates. Purdue President Steve Miller said in a statement that the agreement "provide(It) billions of dollars and vital resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opiate crisis ".

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Under this agreement, however, subject to court approval, the entire value of the Purdue Group will be paid to an organization established for the benefit of the plaintiffs and the US population. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of one of the leading opioid pain medications, OxyContin, is the subject of more than 2,000 complaints.

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47,000 deaths by overdose

The laboratory is accused of pushing the medical profession to "overprescribe" its flagship drug, while it knew its addictive effects, and thus to have participated in the growing dependence of Americans on opiates, pushing consumers to drugs stronger, such as fentanyl and heroin.

The group said it was forced, to turn the page on this crisis, to be under the protection of the US bankruptcy law – "Chapter XI" – and clarified that the board of directors of a new company would be chosen by the plaintiffs before being approved by the bankruptcy court. Mr. Miller also stated that this restructuring would avoid "Wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and years in protracted litigation".

As part of the agreement, the company could provide millions of drugs needed to treat drug addiction, such as nalmefene and naloxone – opioid receptor antagonists – marketed, among other things, under the name Revex in the States. United States, free or at low cost.

In addition to abandoning control of Purdue, the wealthy American family Sackler will pay privately "At least $ 3 billion". Highly influential in New York's Gotha, the Sacklers built their fortunes on OxyContin, a powerful painkiller accused of being at the heart of the opioid crisis that caused 47,000 overdose deaths in the United States. 2017.

On Friday, New York State Attorney Letitia James said the Sackler family was trying to hide the size of its fortune, including transferring $ 1 billion to Switzerland. These transfers were revealed in an investigation against Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family led by Mme James. The latter summoned in August thirty financial institutions that have done business with the Sackler to provide information to assess their assets.

The Sackler's reputation has been tarnished in recent months by their role in the opiate case and protests have been held in several cities around the world against the Sakler family's role in the opiate crisis. The National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim in New York have given up Sackler donations in the face of controversy. In July, the Louvre Museum in Paris even renamed the"Sackler wing", dedicated to the Oriental Antiquities and which had the name of the American family since a donation on its part in 1996.

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