AG Herring announces tentative agreement with Purdue Pharma, Sackler family

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia could soon be getting more than $80 million to invest in opioid addiction treatment and recovery.

Virginia’s Attorney General said Thursday he and other attorneys general have reached a settlement agreement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.

The deal, filed in bankruptcy court Wednesday night, is still pending approval. If granted, the money and documents from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler documents, more than 30 million of them, would be made available to the public.

The Sacklers would be required to pay out $4.325 billion over the next nine years, with $80 million of that coming to Virginia.

While not every state involved in the lawsuit likes the deal, Herring said he thinks reaching a resolution now and getting those documents is worth it.

“I want to help those who are battling addiction right now as much as possible,” he said. “This is a legal fight that if we don’t reach a resolution, could stretch on for years, with an uncertain outcome. And so that’s why I thought on balance, this was in the best interest of Virginians because we would be able to hold those who were responsible and culpable to account. As well as bring a lot of significant, needed resources to help with treatment and recovery services right now.”

Herring said if approved, Purdue could continue in the pharmaceutical business.

“If a resolution is reached, there will be some new company that emerges from the bankruptcy court. It will be in the pharmaceutical business. The Sacker family themselves will be banned from ever being in the opioid business,” he explained. “And either the company that emerges from bankruptcy will be liquidated or sold by 2024. And as much of the proceeds as possible will be part of the overall settlement.”

If the settlement is approved, Virginia’s newly-formed Opioid Abatement Authority, effective July 1, will be tasked with doling out the $80 million to various organizations fighting the opioid crisis in Virginia. Herring is optimistic about approval, saying it could come within the next weeks or months.

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