Health and Science

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reaches opioid settlement with Oklahoma attorney general: Source

Key Points
  • Purdue Pharma has agreed to settle with Oklahoma attorney general's office, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC.
  • The Wall Street Journal says the agreement totaled $270 million.
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Purdue Pharma settles Oklahoma opioid case for $270 million

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached an agreement with the Oklahoma attorney general's office to settle a lawsuit that accused it of helping ignite the nationwide opioid crisis, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC.

The details of the settlement are expected to be released Tuesday afternoon. The Wall Street Journal reported the agreement totaled $270 million.

Purdue and other manufacturers faced a trial in May in a case brought by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter. Accusations against the Stamford, Connecticut-based company include downplaying the addiction risk of opioids while overstating the benefits.

The company has denied wrongdoing. It says labels for its painkiller carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the drugs.

A spokesperson for Hunter's office declined to comment. Purdue Pharma did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

OxyContin is a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults. From 1999 to 2017, nearly 218,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. OxyContin came on the market in 1996.

Purdue was founded in the 1950s by brothers Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler.

Earlier this month, Purdue's CEO Craig Landau said the company was considering bankruptcy to protect its assets against thousands of lawsuits for its alleged role in the opioid epidemic.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.