Billionaire Sackler family enters $6B opioid deal with support from holdout states

When OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and its founding family inked a $4.3 billion opioid settlement back in September 2021, the judge overseeing the case called it a "bitter result." Now, thanks to an appeal and extended talks, the settlement just got a lot bigger.

In a deal revealed Thursday, Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family will pay up to $6 billion to states and victims of the U.S. opioid epidemic, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement. The civil settlement is 40% larger than the $4.3 billion deal inked between the company and dozens of states last fall. 

For their part, Tong and several other attorneys general argued the deal was insufficient and appealed.

Now, following dozens of negotiation sessions, the sides have reached a new deal. In addition to the increased payment, the accord requires the Sackler family to apologize for its role in the opioid epidemic and to allow its name to be removed from buildings and scholarships, Tong's office said in a statement. 

RELATED: Judge knocks back Purdue Pharma's $4.5B bankruptcy settlement

In a statement, representatives for the Sackler family said they "sincerely regret that OxyContin, a prescription medicine that continues to help people suffering from chronic pain, unexpectedly became part of an opioid crisis that has brought grief and loss to far too many families and communities."

The deal includes support from attorneys general who had protested the earlier $4.5 billion settlement, Tong's office notes. Under the new settlement, the Sacklers will pay at least $5.5 billion and as much as $6 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

RELATED: Purdue Pharma and Sackler family close to another big opioid settlement: reports

The deal doesn't change the bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma. Under its reorganization, the company is set to become a public benefit company providing overdose and addiction treatments.