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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Purdue Pharma is very close to a settlement with states, cities, counties and Native American tribes over its role in fueling the opioid epidemic — but part of the settlement puts those governments in an awkward position.

Driving the news: A major part of the proposed settlement would involve Purdue declaring bankruptcy and the Sackler family members conceding ownership.

  • Purdue would then become a "public benefit trust corporation, with proceeds going toward the governments bringing the lawsuits," the Wall Street Journal previously reported.

The intrigue: The same governments that have alleged Purdue's OxyContin has wreaked havoc on their communities would pocket all future OxyContin profits.

  • If OxyContin sales fall, that would result in less money going to state and local governments.

The bottom line: Purdue has threatened to enter bankruptcy regardless of whether this settlement offer is accepted, so some plaintiffs may feel pressured to take what they can get — even if it means they become the beneficiaries of painkiller sales they view to be tainted.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

10 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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