March 26 (UPI) -- OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma in a case that accused the company of facilitating the opioid crisis, state Attorney General Mike Hunter said Tuesday.
Hunter announced the settlement at a news conference in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday afternoon. Hunter sued Purdue and other opioid makers, including Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals, saying they used deceptive marketing. Hundreds of cities, counties and Native American tribes in Oklahoma had filed suits against the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma.
The deal requires Purdue to pay $102.5 million that will fund research, education and treatment of pain and addiction at Oklahoma State University's Tulsa campus. The Sackler family will pay another $75 million in personal funds over five years. The settlement also includes $20 million worth of treatment drugs, $12 million paid to cities and towns and $60 million in legal fees.
"Although we celebrate this monumental victory today, we still have a long road ahead," Hunter said at the news conference Tuesday. "We will create a better future for Oklahomans to live and raise a family addiction free."
Hunter added that the settlement was "only a first step," saying he plans to hold other defendants in the case accountable for creating what he called a public health crisis.
"I wouldn't say we're ground zero [in Oklahoma], but we're pretty close," he added.
The settlement came one day after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected an appeal by opioid manufacturers to delay the trial, which had been set for May 28.
"The Supreme Court made the right decision. By refusing to review Judge Balkman's prior decision, we are still on track for trial where we seek justice for Oklahomans who have been affected by the ongoing opioid epidemic," Hunter previously said.
Nearly 400,000 people in the United States died of opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. OxyContin has been on the market since 1996 and Purdue has been accused of persuading doctors to overprescribe the drug for multiple ailments.
In the past, the drug makers have denied there were any problems with marketing.