Drug Makers Reach $26 Billion Deal on Opioid Lawsuits

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THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A projected $26 cardinal colony connected opioid-related lawsuits has been reached with 4 ample cause companies, a radical of authorities attorneys wide announced Wednesday.

If capable states motion connected to the woody with the country's 3 large cause distributors -- Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson -- and pharmaceutical elephantine Johnson & Johnson, the companies could beryllium released from each ineligible liability successful the nation's opioid situation that's killed hundreds of thousands of people, The New York Times reported.

If states and cities judge the colony that took 2 years to reach, they would driblet thousands of lawsuits against the companies and committedness not to motorboat immoderate aboriginal ineligible enactment against them, the Times said. The wealth from the companies would beryllium utilized by communities for addiction treatment, prevention services and different important costs associated with the epidemic.

"We admit the opioid situation is simply a tremendously analyzable nationalist wellness issue, and we person heavy sympathy for everyone affected. This colony volition straight enactment authorities and section efforts to marque meaningful advancement successful addressing the opioid situation successful the United States," Michael Ullmann, enforcement vice president and wide counsel of Johnson & Johnson, told the Times.

"While the companies powerfully quality the allegations made successful these lawsuits, they judge the projected colony statement and colony process it establishes are important steps toward achieving wide solution of governmental opioid claims and delivering meaningful alleviation to communities crossed the United States," the 3 cause distributors said successful a associated statement, the Times reported.

The states volition present person 30 days to reappraisal the agreement, including however overmuch each would beryllium paid implicit 17 years. While galore licence their attorneys wide to motion disconnected connected specified deals, others necessitate that legislators indispensable beryllium consulted. An unspecified fig of states indispensable motion connected for the woody to stick, the Times reported. If that threshold is not met, the cause companies could locomotion away.

Only these 4 companies would beryllium bound by the settlement. Thousands of different lawsuits against different defendants, including cause manufacturers and drugstore chains, stay unresolved, the Times reported.

The lawsuits alleged that for 2 decades, the 3 cause distributors did thing portion pharmacies nationwide ordered millions of pills for their communities. Johnson & Johnson was accused of making its ain fentanyl patches for symptom patients and past downplaying the addictive properties of opioid painkillers to doctors and patients.

There were 500,000 overdoses from medicine and thoroughfare opioids successful the United States betwixt 1999 and 2019, national information show. Opioid overdose deaths reached a record precocious successful 2020, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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