Guam has joined in on settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the giant billion-dollar opioid maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin which is being sued for potential liability for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis.
A release from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said the award is worth upwards of $3 billion, of which Guam will get a cut.
“It’s important for Guam to be part of the settlement conversations, securing every dollar we can to support the Island’s fight against our drug problem,” Attorney General Leevin Camacho said.
In August, the OAG sued Purdue alleging that the company designed, financed and waged a marketing campaign to mislead prescribers, patients and the public into believing their opioid drugs were safe to treat pain on a long-term basis. This includes the allegation that Purdue rebranded a formula of OxyContin as “abuse deterrent” despite a lack of evidence to support that claim.
According to the complaint, there were over 97,000 opioid prescriptions dispensed in Guam between 2015 and 2019. The OAG also alleges that nearly 200 doses of Naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses, were dispensed at Guam Memorial Hospital from 2018 through July 2019.
“As a community, we have to take a multi-prong approach to combat our drug problem. Any settlement funds we receive should be committed to rehabilitation programs and other evidence-based programs that prevent drug abuse and address addiction,” said AG Camacho.
The OAG is also involved in a separate settlement discussion about opioid drugs produced by other pharmaceutical companies. A $48 billion settlement discussion is ongoing against drug manufacturers and distributors, according to the release.
The release states that settlement discussions will continue over the upcoming weeks.