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Iowa to receive millions in Purdue Pharma opioid abuse settlement

DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller says Iowa will get $25 million from a settlement in a lawsuit over opioid abuse.

Attorney General spokeswoman Ashlee Kieler says it involves the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma. “The settlement stems from the lawsuit that was filed back in the spring of 2019. It looks to hold the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma responsible for their actions with regards to the opioid epidemic,” Kieler says.

The lawsuit alleged that Purdue officials repeatedly made false and deceptive claims that OxyContin was safe and suitable for a wide range of pain patients. Iowa’s share of the money comes from a total settlement of $4.3 billion.

“The money would be used for opioid treatment prevention programs and recovery for people affected,” she explains. The Sacklers will the settlement amount over the next nine years as part of the agreement — and the Sacklers will be permanently banned from the opioid business. She says Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy after the lawsuit was filed and the company will wind down operations by 2024.

The settlement requires Purdue and the Sacklers to make public more than 30 million documents, including attorney-client privileged communications about the original FDA approval of OxyContin and tactics to promote opioids.


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