Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, has agreed to a $270 million settlement with the Oklahoma Attorney General's office, ending a lawsuit that claims the company is responsible for the opioid epidemic that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths across the country.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed the lawsuit in 2017 against Purdue Pharma, along with other pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of engaging in deceptive marketing practices that downplayed the risk of addiction and overstated the benefits of using the opioid-based pain medication.
By agreeing to the settlement, Purdue Pharma will avoid a public trial which was due to begin in May. The lawsuit will continue against the other companies unless they reach a settlement with Hunter's office.
Purdue Pharma is still facing numerous lawsuits from plaintiffs across the country. There are 1,600 federal cases pending and around 400 cases waiting to be heard in state courts. In October, Purdue will face a federal judge in Ohio, where the 1,600 federal lawsuits have been consolidated. The judge in that case is pushing for the pharmaceutical company to reach a settlement before the trial begins.
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