Durbin Statement On Federal Judge Rejecting Purdue Pharma's Bankruptcy Scheme

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement after a federal judge rejected OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy settlement, which would have provided the Sackler family with sweeping legal immunity from thousands of lawsuits over the opioid epidemic:


“For years, Purdue Pharma flooded America with painkillers and lies, profiting off the addiction epidemic they created.  The Sacklers created enormous suffering and must not be allowed to escape responsibility.”


In July, Durbin, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08), introduced the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act of 2021, which would rein in various bankruptcy loopholes that corporations such as Purdue Pharma exploit to dodge accountability.


Durbin, along with Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), was the lead author of the 2018 law that enhanced the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) opioid quota-setting authority by improving transparency and enabling DEA to adjust quotas to prevent opioid diversion and abuse while ensuring an adequate supply for legitimate medical needs.  DEA has heeded Durbin and Kennedy’s call over the past five years to help prevent opioid addiction by responsibly reducing nearly all opioid quotas by more than 55 percent.