STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Purdue Pharma — the drug maker responsible for OxyContin — has launched an ad campaign to tell people harmed by their prescription opioid where they can file claims against the company.
The $23.8 million campaign is part of Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings as it tries to resolve some 3,000 lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis.
Notifying people who may have claims against a company is a standard part of a bankruptcy case. But Purdue’s efforts —worked out with input from a committee of creditors and other interested parties and approved by a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, New York — are unusually expansive.
The company has proposed a settlement that could be worth more than $10 billion over time, including the value of drugs it is producing at a contribution of at least $3 billion in cash from members of the Sackler family, which owns the company.
About half the states oppose that deal, saying it doesn’t do enough to hold the company or family responsible in an opioid crisis that has been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. over the last two decades.
Online ads starting Monday direct people to a website where claims can be made. The website says users have until June 30, 2020 to submit “all proof of claim forms”.
Other versions are to appear later in magazines, newspapers, TV and radio, billboards, movie theaters, and other places to let people know they have until the end of June to file claims.
Ads are intended to reach 95% of U.S. adults, with those people seeing or hearing the ads an average of six times. Part of the plan also calls for encouraging news coverage of the claim applications.
Lawsuits against the company have been filed mostly by governmental entities.
But individuals harmed by the company can also make claims through the bankruptcy process.
It has not yet been ironed out how much of a settlement may be available to private parties, or which people may receive a piece of it. For instance, it’s still subject to negotiations on whether people who used OxyContin illicitly would be entitled to the same kind of benefits as those who were prescribed the powerful drug and became addicted.
The heart of lawsuits against Purdue is that the company aggressively marketed its drugs to doctors in misleading ways, downplaying the addictive risks and overstating benefits. The company stopped marketing OxyContin about two years ago.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)