UPDATE 3-Purdue Pharma in discussion on $10 bln-$12 bln offer to settle opioid claims -sources


2019-08-28 10:07:33 YAHOO!FINANCE


OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and its owners, the Sackler family, are in discussion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Purdue is among several drugmakers and distributors that have been sued seeking to hold them responsible for fueling an opioid addiction crisis in the United States, which claimed 400,000 lives from 1999 to 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lawsuits have accused the Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma of aggressively marketing prescription opioids while misleading prescribers and consumers about risks from their prolonged use. Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations. Purdue said it was actively working with state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to reach a resolution, without specifying a settlement amount. Representatives for Purdue and the Sackler family held discussions with cities, counties and states on the contours of the potential multibillion-dollar settlement last week in Cleveland, said a person familiar with the matter. During the meeting, Purdue outlined a plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a mechanism for implementing the settlement, which the company hopes will address the lawsuits, the person said. There is currently no agreement and the settlement discussions could collapse, the sources said. The company has said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved labels for OxyContin carrying warnings about risk and abuse associated with treating pain. The Sacklers have argued they were passive board members who approved routine management requests rather than micromanaging the marketing of OxyContin. RESTRUCTURING The settlement offer was first reported by NBC. Paul Hanly, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, in an e-mail called that report “made up” and “ridiculous.” He did not respond to further requests for comment regarding Reuters’ reporting. Representatives for the Sackler family declined to comment and a representative for the state attorneys general did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The plan under discussion envisions Purdue restructuring into a for-profit "public benefit trust" that would include value from drugs provided to cities, counties and states the person said. Some of the drugs are used to combat opioid overdoses, one of the sources said. Purdue would contribute between $7 billion and $8 billion, with the value coming from the combination of the in-kind drugs and profits from sales of them, the person said. The Sackler family, which would give up ownership of Purdue under the deal being discussed, would contribute at least $3 billion, this person said. The Sackler family, which has amassed an estimated $13 billion fortune over the years, is also weighing a possible sale of another pharmaceutical firm it owns called Mundipharma, with some of the proceeds potentially going toward the settlement under discussion, the person said. David Sackler, one of a handful of family members who previously sat on Purdue's board, was present for the discussions in the meeting last week, which included at least 10 state attorneys general, the person said. Purdue for months has been preparing a potential Chapter 11 filing to attempt to halt the lawsuits against it and negotiate a settlement under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, said people familiar with the preparations. Purdue has been attempting to reach an agreement with a number of plaintiffs before filing for bankruptcy protection in the hopes of presenting the outlines of a settlement in court and then completing negotiations, the people said. The company has also been preparing for the prospect of filing for bankruptcy without any agreement with plaintiffs and using Chapter 11 proceedings to continue negotiations, the people said. About 2,500 lawsuits, most by local governments across the United States, have sought to hold drugmakers and distributors liable for the crisis. Most of those cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Cleveland. On Monday, an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572.1 million to the state for deceptively marketing addictive painkillers following the first trial related to the addiction crisis. Purdue reached a settlement in March for $270 million to resolve a similar lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma.
两位知情人士周二表示, OxyContin 生产商 PurduePharma LP 及其所有者 Sackler 家族正就以100亿至120亿美元了结逾2000宗针对该公司的诉讼展开讨论. 美国疾病控制和预防中心( U.S . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention )的数据显示, Purdue 是被起诉的几家制药商和分销商之一,它们试图让它们为美国的阿片类药物成瘾危机承担责任。 这些诉讼指控位于康涅狄格州斯坦福德的普渡制药公司( Purdue Pharma )大力推销处方类阿片类药物,同时误导处方者和消费者,使他们担心长期使用这些药物带来的风险。普渡和萨克勒家否认了这些指控。 普渡表示,它正积极与州总检察长和其他原告合作达成一项决议,但没有具体说明和解金额。 据一位知情人士透露,普渡和萨克勒家族的代表上周在克利夫兰就可能达成的数十亿美元和解的轮廓与城市、县和州进行了讨论。 这位知情人士表示,在会议期间,普渡提出了申请破产保护的计划,作为执行和解的一种机制,该公司希望能够解决这些诉讼。 消息人士说,目前还没有达成协议,和解谈判可能会破裂。 该公司表示,美国食品药品监督管理局(Food and Drug Administration)批准了 OxyContin 的标签,该标签中含有与治疗疼痛相关的风险和滥用警告。Sacklers 辩称,他们是被动的董事会成员,他们批准了日常管理要求,而不是微观管理 OxyContin 的营销。 重组 和解协议最初是由 NBC 报道的。原告的首席律师保罗•汉利( Paul Hanly )在一封电子邮件中称,这份报告是“捏造”和“荒谬的”。他没有回应要求就路透社报道发表评论的进一步请求。 Sackler 家族的代表拒绝置评,州检察长的代表也没有立即回应置评请求。 这位知情人士说,正在讨论的计划设想 Purdue 重组为一个以营利为目的的“公益信托”,其中包括向城市、县和州提供药品的价值。其中一位消息人士说,有些药物被用于对抗阿片类药物过量。 这位知情人士说, Purdue 将贡献70亿至80亿美元,其价值将来自这类药物的销售和利润。这位知情人士说,根据正在讨论的交易, Sackler 家族将放弃 Purdue 的所有权,至少贡献30亿美元。 这位知情人士说, Sackler 家族多年来积累了约130亿美元的财富,目前也在考虑出售另一家名为 Mundipharma 的制药公司,其中一些收益可能将用于正在讨论的和解。 这位知情人士表示,此前曾在普渡董事会任职的少数家族成员之一戴维•萨克勒( David Sackler )上周出席了会议的讨论,其中包括至少10名州总检察长。 知情人士说,几个月来,普渡一直在准备一份可能的第11章申请文件,试图阻止针对该公司的诉讼,并在一名美国破产法官的监督下谈判达成和解。 知情人士表示,普渡一直试图在申请破产保护之前与一些原告达成协议,希望能在法庭上展示和解方案的轮廓,然后完成谈判。 知情人士表示,该公司还在为申请破产做准备,而无需与原告达成任何协议,并利用第11章的程序继续谈判。 大约2500起诉讼,大部分是由美国各地的地方政府提起的,它们试图追究制药商和分销商应对这场危机的责任。大多数这些案件都在克利夫兰的联邦法官面前得到了巩固。 周一,俄克拉荷马州的一名法官下令强生公司向该州支付5.721亿美元,用于欺骗性地推销上瘾止痛药。此前,首次审判与成瘾危机有关。 普渡3月达成和解,以2.7亿美元解决俄克拉荷马州的类似诉讼。