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The Sackler family members who own Purdue Pharma have agreed to pay up to $6 billion to settle a hotly contested bankruptcy plan, which will allow state governments and tens of thousands of people to be compensated for the company’s role in the opioid crisis.

The deal comes after years of litigation over the marketing of the OxyContin painkiller, which was a cash cow for the drugmaker and became a poster child for the nationwide epidemic. The company was blamed for helping to trigger these events by downplaying the risk of addiction while improperly encouraging physicians to write prescriptions.


The settlement follows furious objections to an earlier version of the plan that called for a $4.3 billion payout. But several states balked at a provision that granted immunity to some of the Sacklers as well as hundreds of their associates. The immunity would shield them from future lawsuits, even though — unlike Purdue — they did not file for bankruptcy protection.

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