Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay more than $4.5bn to resolve a multi-state lawsuit in the US for its alleged role in driving the opioid crisis in the country.

New York attorney-general Letitia James has announced the resolution of the lawsuit against the Sackler family and their firm, Purdue Pharma.

As per the press statement of James, the settlement will permanently stop the manufacture of opioids by the family and Purdue.

Furthermore, the payment from the company will be used to fund opioid prevention, treatment and recovery programmes in communities across the US.

This amount is one of the biggest payments made by people and companies they own to settle a lawsuit in the country.

As per the agreement, millions of documents linked to the Purdue and Sacklers family’s roles in fuelling the opioid crisis will be made public.

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James said: “For nearly two years since Purdue Pharma declared bankruptcy, the company and the Sackler family have used every delay tactic possible and misused the courts, all in an effort to shield their misconduct.

“While this deal is not perfect, we are delivering $4.5bn into communities ravaged by opioids on an accelerated timetable and it gets one of the nation’s most harmful drug dealers out of the opioid business, once and for all.”

In October last year, Purdue Pharma reached an $8.3bn settlement agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve multi-year civil and criminal investigations into past marketing practices related to its opioid medicines.

Later in November, the company pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, to criminal charges over the handling of its OxyContin painkiller drug.

As per the latest lawsuit settlement, the Sacklers will have to pay $4.325bn over the coming nine years. Of this, New York state is anticipated to get nearly $200m or more for abating the opioid crisis.

In March 2019, attorney-general James filed a lawsuit that held various companies accountable for the opioid crisis, including Purdue, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt.

Currently, the cases against Mallinckrodt and Rochester Drug Cooperative are in US Bankruptcy Court.

The latest development comes after Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay up to $230m to settle the opioid-related case with New York State and its participating subdivisions Nassau County and Suffolk County.