Attorney General Morrisey rejects Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan

CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has announced plans to vote “no” on confirmation of Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan.

The Attorney General discussed Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan, provided an update on the state’s opioid litigation, and detailed the office’s efforts to tackle fentanyl abuse in West Virginia during a press conference Tuesday.

The attorney general has voiced his opposition to how the multibillion dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma can be split between states.

“I remain vigorously opposed to a proposed allocation formula that would distribute settlement funds largely based on the population of a state or local government – not the intensity of the problem,” said the Attorney General Morrisey. “Such an award formula does not recognize the disproportionate damage caused by opioids in our state. I look forward to taking our case to court in August.

The attorney general argues that the proposed settlement fund allocation plan, which is largely population-based, does not address the disproportionate damage caused by opioids in West Virginia.

In April, the attorney general filed his objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that Purdue’s failure to disclose how his multibillion-dollar proposal would be distributed among states undermined his desire to ‘avoid legal challenges against an inherently unfair settlement. .

Purdue Pharma responded by publicly disclosing the once-closed Denver plan, which the attorney general opposes because it would distribute settlement funds largely based on the population – not the intensity of the problem.

Attorney General Morrisey sued Purdue Pharma and former CEO Richard Sackler in May 2019. The lawsuit alleges Purdue Pharma created a false narrative to convince prescribers that opioids are not addictive and that its products opioids were safer than they actually were.

The lawsuit argues that Purdue Pharma has proliferated a deceptive marketing strategy in reckless disregard of compliance enforcement. It also alleges that the company’s sales representatives have consistently claimed that OxyContin does not have a dose cap, despite claims by federal regulators that the OxyContin dose cap was evident from side effects.

The lawsuit marked West Virginia’s second against Purdue Pharma. The first, filed in 2001, resulted in a settlement of $ 10 million in 2004. However, this case involved an earlier version of the opioid than the reformulated, so-called tamper-evident OxyContin, which debuted in 2010.

The Purdue case is one of the West Virginia attorney general’s pending lawsuits against five opioid manufacturers and other national distribution chains.

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