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Generic drugmakers sold most opioids during overdose crisis

In this July 1, 2013 file photo is the exterior of the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals office in...
In this July 1, 2013 file photo is the exterior of the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals office in St. Louis. The generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has a tentative $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid crisis, it announced Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. The deal is intended to end hundreds of lawsuits faced by the company over opioids. (Whitney Curtis/AP Images for Mallinckrodt, File)(GIM)
Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 8:01 AM EST
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The maker of OxyContin is often seen as the key villain in the opioid crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives, but makers of generic drugs shipped far more powerful prescription painkillers.

One of them announced a settlement Tuesday that’s designed to end all the lawsuits it faces. U.K.-based Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $1.6 billion over eight years.

Federal court records made public last year show its employees were more concerned with sales than with public health.

It and another generic drugmaker, Actavis, were the two largest opioid producers as the overdose crisis exploded.

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