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Drugmakers look to use Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy to settle U.S. opioid suits, WSJ reports

Endo International Plc., Johnson & Johnson and other drugmakers that face litigation over the opioid crisis are exploring a way to settle the cases by participating in Purdue Pharma LP's bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal documents and a person familiar with the matter.

5 pharmaceutical companies are exploring ways to settle cases over the opioid crisis

Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin pills, made by Purdue Pharma LP, are seen on a counter at a local pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. Five other pharmaceutical companies are looking to piggyback on the Purdue bankruptcy to settle their own cases related to the opioid crisis. (George Frey/Reuters)

Endo International Plc., Johnson & Johnson and other drugmakers that face litigation over the opioid crisis are exploring a way to settle the cases by participating in Purdue Pharma LP's bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal documents and a person familiar with the matter.

Five drugmakers battling the cases — Endo, J&J, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Allergan Plc. and Mallinckrodt Plc. — are looking to enact a global settlement of the litigation that would be implemented through Purdue's Chapter 11 case, the WSJ reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The mechanism, if successful, would allow the companies to contribute money into a trust set up through the bankruptcy in exchange for a complete release from liability, according to the report

OxyContin maker Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection in September, succumbing to pressure from more than 2,600 lawsuits alleging the company helped fuel the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic.

Mallinckrodt said the report that it was seeking to leverage the Purdue bankruptcy was "completely unfounded."

"We have made no decisions around how a potential settlement or separation would be effectuated," it added.

Purdue declined to comment.

Endo, J&J, Teva and Allergan were not immediately available for comment.

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