Purdue OxyContin settlement would rank among largest in pharma history

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP has reached a tentative multi-billion dollar agreement with some plaintiffs aimed at settling thousands of lawsuits over its alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The settlement could be valued at up to $12 billion, they said, which would make it the largest such settlement in U.S. pharmaceutical history. The following are some of the largest previous U.S. legal settlements involving the pharmaceutical industry. * Merck & Co $4.85 billion, 2007 - Three years after it pulled its widely used arthritis pain drug Vioxx from the market over safety concerns and following several product liability trials, Merck agreed to pay nearly $5 billion to settle most of the 60,000 lawsuits alleging that Vioxx caused heart attacks and strokes. Kenneth Frazier, who was the company's general counsel and oversaw the litigation and settlement strategy, became Merck's CEO on Jan. 1, 2011

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