States Have Reached a New Settlement with Purdue Pharma and Sackler Family. What's Next?

Kristen Pendergrass
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Today, the case against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family is one step closer to resolution, as a federal mediator filed a revised agreement between Purdue Pharma and eight states and the District of Columbia, who appealed a previous version. 

In this new agreement, the Sackler family will pay at least $5.5 billion to states, local governments, hospitals, and other claimants.  Furthermore, Purdue Pharma will become a public trust corporation, Knoa Pharma, that will contribute at least $1.5 billion through 2024, and future profits will also go towards addressing the addiction crisis.  

The deal must still be approved by the bankruptcy judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

While no amount of money will ever compensate for the staggering loss of life caused by the opioid crisis, the resolution of this and other cases will provide unprecedented funding to address the addiction crisis in America and save lives. 

As these cases move through the courts, Shatterproof is working with state policymakers around the country to ensure that all opioid settlement funds are used to address the opioid crisis and save lives. 

Shatterproof has led a coalition of organizations working to ensure settlement dollars are spent effectively and transparently, in accordance with the Principles for the Use of Funds From the Opioid Litigation, published by Johns Hopkins University. The principles are:

  • Spend money to save lives
  • Use evidence to guide spending
  • Invest in youth prevention
  • Focus on racial equity
  • Develop a fair and transparent process for deciding where to spend the funding

In conversations with state leaders around the country, including Governors’ offices, Attorneys General, and state legislators, we are confident that states have learned valuable lessons from the misuse of tobacco settlement funds.  Many state leaders have shown their dedication to using opioid settlement dollars to save lives through investment in science-based strategies for prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery supports. 

As litigation such as the Purdue bankruptcy plan come to fruition, we will continue to work with states that have yet to enact such policies so that these funds will go towards saving lives.


Kristen Pendergrass is Shatterproof's Vice President of State Policy.

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