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Committee pitches concept to settle opioid suits

A committee guiding OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy has suggested other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains use Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits seeking to hold the drug industry accountable for the national opioid crisis.

The committee of unsecured creditors said in a letter sent Sunday to the parties and obtained by The Associated Press that the country “is in the grips of a crisis that must be addressed, and that doing so may require creative approaches.”

It’s calling for all the companies to put money into a fund in exchange for having all their lawsuits resolved.

The committee includes victims of the opioid crisis plus a medical center, a health insurer, a prescription benefit management company, the manufacturer of an addiction treatment drug and a pension insurer. It says that the concept may not be feasible but invited further discussion. It does not give a size of contributions from the company.

The same committee has been aggressive in Purdue’s bankruptcy, saying it would support pausing litigation against members of the Sackler family who own Purdue in exchange for a $200 million fund from the company to help fight the crisis.

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