Purdue Pharma mediator extends talks to resolve Sackler’s responsibility for opioid outbreak

A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg tablets, manufactured by Purdue Pharma LD at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo

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NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) – A U.S. mediator on Wednesday extended a deadline for the owners of Purdue Pharma LP to negotiate to resolve disputes alleging they were fueling the opioid epidemic and bring the maker of OxyContin closer to exiting of bankruptcy.

Members of the wealthy Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, have been trying to reach a settlement with eight states and the District of Columbia, after blocking a previous settlement that included a $4.3 billion cash payment.

In a filing with the bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, mediator Shelley Chapman said she would file another mediation report “at the appropriate time.” She did not say how long the talks could continue. Chapman was appointed in January.

Purdue filed for Chapter 11 protection in September 2019 after facing thousands of lawsuits alleging the company and members of the Sackler family used deceptive marketing to fuel a worldwide opioid epidemic. national.

The company pleaded guilty to misbranding and fraud charges related to its Oxycontin marketing in 2007 and 2020. Members of the Sackler family have denied wrongdoing.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; edited by John Stonestreet and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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