Governor Cuomo Announces $4.5 Billion Settlement with Purdue Pharma Over Its Role In The Opioid Epidemic
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $4.5 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma - one of the largest in U.S. history - over the company's role in falsely marketing its products to get more Americans hooked on opioids. The owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family, will be required to pay $4.5 billion over the next nine years, with New York State expected to receive at least $200 million. Funding from the settlement will be used to fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs in communities across the country, and thousands of individual victims will also receive compensation as part of Purdue's bankruptcy process. Additionally, the settlement requires the Sackler family to relinquish control of family foundations to the trustees of a contemplated National Opioid Abatement Trust dedicated to abating the opioid crisis.
"The opioid epidemic was created by unscrupulous opioid companies who put personal profit over the health and safety of our state, and countless New Yorkers have suffered as a result," Governor Cuomo said. "The families and loved ones who have been impacted by this crisis deserve justice, and this agreement with Purdue is just the first step in affording some measure of accountability for the human and financial toll they have inflicted. New York remains committed to holding all opioid manufacturers, distributors and others responsible for the catastrophic effects of the opioid crisis responsible for their reprehensible actions."
Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said, "The damage of the opioid crisis is immeasurable and irreversible but New York's resolution with Purdue Pharma moves justice in the right direction for New Yorkers who have endured this crisis. Through ongoing investigations and administrative proceedings, DFS remains committed to holding opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their actions to protect consumers and shed light on the crisis' effect on the health insurance system."
The settlement between New York State and Purdue Pharma shuts down Purdue Pharma and prevents their owners, the Sackler family, from manufacturing opioids in the future. The agreement also prohibits the Sackler family from requesting or permitting any new naming rights in connection with charitable or similar donations or organizations for the next nine years.
Additionally, the agreement will make public documents related to the company and the family's role in fueling the opioid epidemic, including confidential communications and documents related to the sale and marketing of dangerous opioid products.
If approved by the Bankruptcy Court, the settlement announced today would also resolve DFS's bankruptcy claim against Purdue. In September 2019, Governor Cuomo and DFS announced a broad investigation into the opioid crisis and the effect it has had on the integrity of the insurance industry and rising health insurance premiums for consumers. In July 2020, DFS filed a proof of claim in the Purdue bankruptcy for significant monetary penalties that DFS is statutorily authorized to levy for insurance fraud and misrepresentations, as much as $5,000 per each inappropriate opioid prescription for chronic pain. DFS's investigation and administrative claims against opioid manufacturers and others remain ongoing.
Over the course of 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that DFS filed administrative charges against additional opioid manufacturers, including Endo International plc and its subsidiaries, Endo Health Solutions Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., and its subsidiaries, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Cephalon, Inc., Watson Laboratories, Inc., Actavis Pharma, Inc., Actavis LLC, and Actavis Elizabeth LLC, and against Allergan PLC and its subsidiary Allergan Finance LLC, and against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.