Moffat County enters claim in Purdue Pharma bankruptcy proceeding Monday |

Moffat County enters claim in Purdue Pharma bankruptcy proceeding Monday

Moffat County joined a large settlement claim to sue Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, for its role in the opioid epidemic. It is unclear how much money the county might receive as a result of the lawsuit.
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The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners voted in a special meeting Monday morning to file a claim in a bankruptcy proceeding against Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid epidemic. 

The decision by Moffat County comes just four days after Routt County filed a claim.

According to official paperwork from the county, the claim – which is estimated for past damages from 2003 through June 2020, and July 2020 through 2040 – is estimated at $49,439,728 for Moffat County. Past damages from 2003 through June 2020 is estimated at $10,151,992, while estimated future damages and abatement costs for July 2020 through 2040 is estimated at $39,287,736.

It’s very unlikely Moffat County will see the full amount of the claim when it comes to the settlement with Purdue Pharma.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, the drug at the center of the crisis, is currently working with cities and counties across the country in a proposed settlement worth an estimated $10 billion, according to a report from Reuters.

Purdue Pharma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2019 with more than 2,600 lawsuits alleging it bears responsibility for a public health crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. 

“It’s the right thing for us to do right now,” said Ray Beck, Moffat County District 2 County Commissioner. “Filing this claim won’t cost the county anything, other than the fact that we need to fill out a claim form.”

Commissioner Beck added that the county moved on the claim quickly due to the upcoming July 30 deadline to file a claim.

Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 400,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much of the crisis stems from pharmaceutical companies’ aggressive marketing tactics starting in the 1990s, during which they claimed patients would not get addicted to opioids. 

This led doctors to prescribe them widely, flooding the country with the drugs. In 2012, when prescriptions reached their peak, doctors were prescribing opioids at a rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 patients, according to the CDC.

Craig City Council will discuss filing a claim during Tuesday night’s council meeting as well.

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