WILMINGTON, Del. — Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma is proposing a settlement in an attempt to end state investigations and lawsuits over the U.S. opioid epidemic, according to people familiar with the talks.

Purdue’s lawyers raised the prospect with several southern state attorneys general who haven’t sued the company, as they try to gauge interest for a wide-ranging deal, said four people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Opioid makers are accused of creating a public health crisis through their marketing of the painkillers. More than a dozen states and about 100 counties and cities have sued Purdue, other opioid makers and drug distributors, in a strategy echoing the litigation that led to the 1998 $246 billion settlement with tobacco companies.

A group of 41 attorneys general is also investigating how companies like Purdue and other opioid makers marketed and sold prescription opioids. It’s not clear whether Purdue’s lawyers are authorized to speak for other drugmakers being sued, but the people familiar with the talks say Purdue’s attorneys are looking for an agreement to include all U.S. states’ claims against all manufacturers.

Purdue spokesman Robert Josephson, declined to comment on the settlement discussions. The company said earlier that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Oxycontin for use as a painkiller, and approved the safety warnings. Cases focusing on opioids are targeting a government-regulated product, the company said. That means judges must defer to the FDA’s finding that the painkillers are safe and effective, and that Purdue properly disclosed addiction risks on its warning label, according to the company’s filing.

Any settlement would likely include cash and changes to the company’s manufacturing and marketing practices, the people said. It would resolve only the state claims, they said.

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