Maine to get $20M from settlement with opioid maker Purdue

July 8, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine will get about $20 million from Purdue Pharma and the family that owns the company as part of a settlement stemming from a lawsuit about the opioid crisis.

The Sackler family and Purdue Pharma have agreed to pay more than $4.3 billion for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts across the country. Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey said Thursday that thousands of individual victims of Purdue’s misconduct will also receive compensation via the bankruptcy process.

The opioid crisis has hit hard in Maine. The state is on pace to potentially surpass the record number of drug overdose deaths that occurred in 2020. There were more than 500 overdose deaths in Maine last year.

Purdue sought bankruptcy protection in 2019 as a way to settle some 3,000 lawsuits it faced from state and local governments and others. The lawsuits claimed the company’s continued marketing of its painkiller OxyContin contributed to the opioid crisis of the last two decades.

“No amount of money can undo the damage Purdue and the Sacklers have done to millions of families across Maine and the country,” said Frey, adding that “the money states are receiving for abatement is crucial for investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.”