As Purdue restructures its business in hopes of signing a multibillion-dollar opioid settlement, revelations about the drugmaker’s operations are slowly coming to light. One notable finding? The company’s founding family, the Sacklers, made a lot of money—up to $13 billion, in fact.
Thousands of local and state plaintiffs are fighting Purdue’s attempt to halt litigation as it undergoes a court-supervised restructuring tied to a massive opioid settlement in Ohio that could reach as high as $12 billion.
As part of that deal reportedly reached in September, the Sacklers agreed to pay $3 billion of their own money while Purdue will reorganize as a public benefit trust. The agreement, which has yet to be formally approved and has faced stiff pushback from some state attorneys general, would become the largest settlement ever signed by a drugmaker.
While the Sacklers’ rumored haul from Purdue and its bestselling opioid OxyContin over the years has varied, a September deposition from Jesse DelConte, a restructuring consultant for Purdue, said the family transferred between $12 billion and $13 billion from the company. DelConte did not say what period those transfers covered.
In a series of court filings Friday, local and state plaintiffs called Purdue’s attempt to halt the ongoing lawsuits as a “firebreak” strategy to shield the Sacklers’ wealth and accused the drugmaker of attempting to force the global settlement it aimed for.
In an emailed statement, Purdue pushed back against those allegations but didn't comment on the reported $13 billion the Sacklers received.
“Purdue’s request for a stay cannot be construed as an effort by the company to use the bankruptcy to evade responsibility or oversight,” the company said. “To the contrary, the settlement structure already offers 100 percent of Purdue without the plaintiffs having to win a single court case. So, bankruptcy is being used to give Purdue to its claimants, not to shield the company from them.“
A Raymond Sackler family attorney said the $13 billion figure cited in the deposition was not reflective of the amount the family actually received.
"The distribution numbers do not reflect the fact that many billions of dollars from that amount were paid in taxes and reinvested in businesses that will be sold as part of the proposed settlement," attorney Daniel S. Connolly said in a statement.
RELATED: Purdue seeks $34M in employee bonuses as bankruptcy process begins
The pressure against Purdue comes on the heels of the drugmaker requesting court approval to pay out $34 million in annual and long-term incentives to some of its employees.
In September, Purdue said it planned to honor $26.5 million for its annual incentive plan, which awards employees based on personal performance and the financial performance of the company. The drugmaker also sought $7.9 million for its long-term cash incentive program, which covers three years of employee performance.
In an emailed statement at the time, Purdue said the incentive funds were important tools to retain employees and are standard across pharma. However, the drugmaker didn’t specify which of its 700 employees were eligible for the incentives or whether the incentives were appropriate given the company’s bankruptcy filing. No member of the Sackler family is currently employed at Purdue.
“Retaining our talented and dedicated employees is a key determinant of the company’s future value,” the company said. “These bonus payments at the company are awarded through long-standing annual benefit plans, are reasonable in amount and similar programs are commonplace at most companies.”
So far, dozens of states and local entities have opposed the payout attempt, saying the company had not made clear which employees were eligible for the incentives.
“The employees who were responsible for or directly involved in the wrongdoing should not be rewarded with bonuses, whether styled as annual incentive plans, sign-on bonuses or severance payments,” attorneys for the state of Arizona said in a filing last week. “(Purdue) provides little to no detail regarding which employees would receive these payments, or whether those employees participated in the illegal practices resulting in the opioid epidemic.”
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a comment from a Sackler family attorney.
随着普渡重组其业务，希望签署数十亿美元的阿片类药物和解协议，有关该制药公司业务的消息慢慢浮出水面。一个值得注意的发现？该公司的创立者家族 Sacklers 赚了很多钱——事实上高达130亿美元。
数千名当地和州原告正在与普渡公司( Purdue )停止诉讼的努力抗争。普渡公司正经历一场由法院监督的重组，与俄亥俄州大规模的阿片类药物和解有关，和解金额可能高达120亿美元。
据报道，作为9月份达成的协议的一部分， Sacklers 同意支付30亿美元的自有资金，而 Purdue 将重组为一个公益信托。该协议尚未获得正式批准，面临一些州总检察长的严厉抵制，将成为制药商有史以来最大规模的和解协议。
尽管 Sacklers 传闻的 Purdue 及其畅销阿片类药物类毒素 OxyContin 的销售业绩多年来一直存在差异，但 Purdue 的重组顾问 JesseDelConte 9月份的证词显示，该家族从该公司转移了120亿至130亿美元。DelConte 没有说明这些转移所涵盖的时期。
在上周五提交的一系列法庭文件中，地方和州原告称，普渡试图阻止正在进行的诉讼是一种“防火墙”策略，目的是保护 Sacklers 的财富，并指责这家制药商试图迫使其寻求的全球和解。
在一份电子邮件声明中，普渡拒绝了这些指控，但没有对 Sacklers 收到的130亿美元的报道发表评论。
“普渡提出的中止请求不能被解释为该公司试图利用破产逃避责任或监督，”该公司表示。“相反，和解结构已经提供了普渡100%的股份，而原告们不必赢得一个单一的法庭诉讼。因此，破产是用来给 Purdue 的索赔，而不是保护公司免于他们。“”
一位 RaymondSackler 家庭律师说，证词中引用的130亿美元数字并不能反映家庭实际收到的金额。
律师丹尼尔· S ·康诺利在一份声明中说：“这一数字并不能反映出这样一个事实，即从这一数额中获得的数十亿美元被用于缴税和再投资于将作为和解方案一部分出售的企业。”
相关：随着破产程序开始， Purdue 寻求3400万美元的员工奖金
亚利桑那州律师上周在一份文件中表示：“负责或直接参与不法行为的员工不应获得奖金，无论是年度激励计划、签约奖金还是遣散费。”“（ Purdue ）几乎没有提供任何细节，说明哪些员工会收到这些款项，或者这些员工是否参与了导致阿片类疾病流行的非法行为。”
编辑的注意：这个故事已经被更新，包括一个来自 Sackler 家庭律师的评论。