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Use of OxyContin profits to fight opioids formally approved: Briefs
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Use of OxyContin profits to fight opioids formally approved: Briefs

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A judge formally approved a plan Friday to turn OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma into a new company no longer owned by members of the Sackler family and with its profits going to fight the opioid epidemic.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain officially confirmed the reorganization Friday, more than two weeks after he announced he would do so pending two largely technical changes to the plan presented by the company and hashed out with lawyers representing those with claims against the company.

His confirmation took more than six hours to read in court earlier this month, and the written version is 159 pages long, full of reasoning that appeals courts can consider later. Several states among other parties have already appealed the decision.

The deal resolves some 3,000 lawsuits filed by state and local governments, Native American tribes, unions, hospitals and others who claimed the company’s marketing of prescription opioids helped spark and continue an overdose epidemic linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. in the last two decades.

The plan will use company profits and $4.5 billion in cash and charitable assets from members of the Sackler family to pay some individual victims amounts expected to range from $3,500 to $48,000, and help fund opioid treatment and prevention programs across the U.S.

Members of the Sackler family are also required to get out of the opioid business worldwide in time.

NJ average gas price up to $3.22 per gallon: Gas prices ticked up again in New Jersey and also increased around the nation as a whole as Gulf Coast refineries remain shuttered following recent storms.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $3.22, up a penny from a week ago. Drivers were paying an average of $2.20 a gallon a year ago at this time.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.19 up two cents from last week. Drivers were paying $2.18 a gallon on average a year ago at this time.

— Associated Press

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