'Blood money'? Purdue settlement would rely on opioid sales

'Blood money'? Purdue settlement would rely on opioid sales
FILE - In this April 2, 2018, file photo, a pharmacist in San Francisco poses for photos holding a bottle of OxyContin. In court papers filed in New York on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, Purdue Pharma, the drug's manufacturer, flied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

The proposed settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma would raise money to clean up the opioid mess by … selling more opioids.

That would amount to blood money, in the opinion of some critics. And it’s one reason two dozen states have rejected the settlement.

The proposed settlement could be worth $10 billion or more over time. The company is making a case for it in bankruptcy court as a way to end some 2,600 lawsuits, most of them from state, local and tribal governments seeking to hold the company accountable for an opioid crisis that has claimed 400,000 lives in the U.S. in the last two decades.

Under the deal, a reformed version of the company could keep selling the drug, with profits helping fund the settlement.