COLORADO, USA — In what State Attorneys General across the nation said is the largest amount of money one family has ever paid for breaking the law, the Sackler family will pay $4.3 billion in the Purdue Pharma opioid lawsuit.
Colorado will get $50 million of that.
The Sackler Family founded Purdue Pharma, which is accused of being the first company to persuade doctors to prescribe more opioids and downplaying how addictive they can be.
"Those actions have led to many Coloradans overdosing, to others having their lives derailed," Attorney General Phil Weiser said.
Two years ago, Weiser began fighting for Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family to pay for their actions, along with Attorneys General from the country.
The $4.3 billion announced on Thursday is just what the Sackler Family will pay. Weiser believes Purdue will pay out billions more.
"We only have about 30% of the treatment we need here in Colorado," Weiser said. "This announcement today and this overall effort, there's more to come, is a game changer."
He said all of the $50 million will go to local governments for drug treatment, recovery and prevention programs. How it will be distributed is still being worked out.
"This money is about saving lives," Weiser said. "It's about healing. It's not going to bring back people we've lost. It's not going to address the wrongful conduct that got us here. All we can do now looking forward is to do better and to address what is a crisis that's having a terrible impact on our state."
Thursday's resolution will also require Purdue and the Sacklers to make public millions of documents that relate to their role in the opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma will also cease to exist as a business by the end of 2024.
Read the full text of the lawsuit below:
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