Some US states are ready to accept a big pharmaceutical company's settlement offer to pay for damage caused by the opioid prescription drug abuse epidemic, while others call it "insultingly weak".

Purdue Pharma's settlement proposal to a number of state, local and tribal governments would at least partially reimburse the costs of fighting the US opioid crisis.  The Sackler family - which owns Purdue - would pay US$4.5 Billion.  Purdue would go under banlruptcy protection and effectively become become a trust "whose main purpose would be to combat the opioid epidemic," the Associated Press reported.

NBC News reports that 27 states' attorneys general are on board with the offer.  But 16 others haven't settled up just yet, and at least do not like it - at all.

"@purduepharma has provided an insultingly weak offer to the American people for the #OpioidEpidemic that they've fueled for decades," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro tweeted this week.  "It allows them to walk away billionaires and admit no wrongdoing.  I don't accept that."

Mr. Shapiro alleged the Sackler family is "personally liable for the devastation of the opioid crisis" and filed a new lawsuit against them.

"Through our negotiations with Purdue Pharma, it became crystal clear the Sacklers have no intention of taking any ownership for engineering an epidemic that claims the lives of 12 Pennsylvanians each day," said Shapiro, saying the new legal action would "require this family of billionaires" to "take responsibility for the pain they caused".

Likewise, New Jersey's attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal wrote, "Purdue Pharma has been morally bankrupt for years.  If the company enters financial bankruptcy as well, New Jersey will continue to pursue all available legal options against those responsible," adding, "If Purdue cannot pay for the harm it inflicted, the Sacklers will."

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul not only said that the Sacklers will be held responsible, he also filed lawsuits against a dozen other big pharmaceutical corporations.