OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a landmark settlement with Oklahoma, agreeing to pay the state $270 million, according to reports, as penance for the company's role in the deadly opioid crisis that has gripped the U.S. over the past decade.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that the deal will be announced at a news conference Tuesday and that the money from the settlement will fund a new center for research, education and treatment of addiction and pain at Oklahoma State University in Tusla.
Oklahoma can still pursue its lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report and Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) - Get Report for what they perceive as their roles in exacerbating the opioid crisis.
Purdue Pharma reportedly has been considering Chapter 11 protection in order to avoid potentially paying billions in damages to other litigants upset about the company's sales practices.
Filing for Chapter 11 protection could potentially halt the lawsuits aimed at the company and allow CEO Craig Landau to negotiate legal claims under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy court judge.
"As a privately held company, it has been Purdue Pharma's longstanding policy not to comment on our financial or legal strategy," Purdue said in a statement to Reuters. "We are, however, committed to ensuring that our business remains strong and sustainable. We have ample liquidity and remain committed to meeting our obligations to the patients who benefit from our medicines, our suppliers and other business partners."
Johnson & Johnson is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust.
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