Local governments pressing lawsuits to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid epidemic told a judge that taking the strongest version of Purdue Pharma Inc.'s Oxycontin painkiller off the market would have immediate results in addressing the crisis, according to people at the meeting.

Purdue's 80-milligram version of Oxycontin is snorted by thousands of abusers, so removing it would be a good first step, experts for cities and counties and state attorneys general told U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, according to three people in attendance at the Wednesday meeting. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the closed-door summit

Polster is overseeing more than 200 suits filed by U.S. cities and counties seeking to recoup the costs of dealing with opioid addictions and overdoses in a Big Tobacco-style accord of 1998. The judge has said he wants a deal that goes further than money to also address business practices and the roots of the crisis. 

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