Ex-Purdue Pharma head defends OxyContin marketing in video

A newly obtained video deposition shows the former head of Purdue Pharma defending the marketing of its signature painkiller, OxyContin. In the video, Dr. Richard Sackler, the company’s former chairman and president, says under oath he does not know how much the family has made off the sale of OxyContin.

CBS News has also learned Purdue Pharma has offered to settle thousands of lawsuits in connection with the nation’s opioid crisis. According to a government source with knowledge of the negotiations, the company is offering between $5 billion and $6 billion to settle.

Sackler’s deposition was part of a 2015 lawsuit brought against Purdue Pharma by the state of Kentucky, a lawsuit that was ultimately settled for more than $20 million. The more than eight-hour video deposition was obtained by ProPublica.

Purdue Pharma is best known as the developer of OxyContin. The company is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis. It’s unclear how much Purdue’s owners, the Sackler family, would have to pay.

The company has released a statement saying it’s prepared to defend itself in court but it “has made clear that it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals, and the people and communities affected by the opioid crisis need help now. “

Talks of a potential settlement come two days after a landmark decision in Oklahoma. In that case, a judge ordered pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its role in that state’s opioid crisis.

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