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OxyContin maker, governments in talks to settle lawsuits

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — States and local governments are in talks to settle lawsuits with the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation's opioid crisis.

Suits filed by more than 2,000 state, local and tribal governments have cast Purdue Pharma as a chief villain in the overdose crisis in the U.S. A report by NBC News said the privately held company has offered to settle for $10 billion to $12 billion.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based company said it's prepared to defend itself but sees little good in years of litigation. A lawyer representing local governments said all sides remain under a gag order but confirmed they were in "active settlement discussions with Purdue."

Attorneys general representing several states also confirmed the accelerated negotiations.

Associated Press writers Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.

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