R.I. to get $45M in opioid settlement with Purdue Pharma, Sackler family 

RI recovery of approximately $20 million more than doubles under terms of settlement

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced on Thursday that a settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family has increased by more than $1 billion in additional funds for their role in the opioid pandemic.

The settlement will increase the amount of funds paid by the Sackler’s from $4.325 billion to at least $5.5 billion, and up to $6 billion.

Rhode Island is set to receive $45 million dollars– about $20 million more than the initial bankruptcy plan- which will be used for opioid treatment and prevention in the state. These payments will start this summer and continue in increments over the next 18 years.

“It’s a step forward… but money is never going to undo the harm that Purdue and the Sacklers did- but what it can do is improve the lives of Rhode Islanders and Americans who suffer from substance use disorder,” Neronha said on Thursday.

Rhode Island filed suit against Purdue and the Sacklers in 2018 and 2019. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia are also in on this settlement.

Debi Nadler is the co-founder of The Drug Epidemic Awareness Walk Across America and Moms Against Drugs. She lost her 28-year-old son Brett to a drug overdose in 2018.

Nadler says while it’s a win that these states will get this settlement money, the real justice would be seeing the Sackler family behind bars. She says the best thing that can be done right now is to effectively educate all on the dangers of drugs.

“{What we’re spending money on} is not working, we have to think outside the box. What did Einstein say? Doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results is insanity,” Nadler adds- referring to the rise in overdoses across the country.

Nadler says this includes educational programs in schools for children as young as Kindergarten, and educating parents on red flags of what to look for in their child’s behavior and social media.

According to Neronha, committees will be used in Rhode Island to ensure a variety of people get to share their opinions and experience on how this money is spent. Nadler says this is how every state should handle allocating these funds.

No details have been released yet on details surrounding these committees.

Rhode Island previously settled with other companies, including Johnson and Johnson, over its role in the opioid epidemic.

Categories: News, Rhode Island