Healthcare

Four states announce $48 billion settlement framework in opioid lawsuits

Four attorneys general announced Monday a framework for a $48 billion settlement with five prescription drug companies over their alleged role in the opioid epidemic. 

The settlement, which would involve Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Johnson & Johnson and Teva, would include $22 billion in cash and $26 billion worth of a generic opioid addiction treatment, product distribution and data tracking measures.

The framework is an "agreement in principle" and has not been finalized.  

"The opioid epidemic has ripped through our communities and left a trail of death and destruction in its wake," said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

"This agreement is an important step in our progress to help restore people's lives. Not only will it provide significant funds and treatment drugs to help people get healthy, it will go a long way in preventing the pill mills that fed so many people's addictions in North Carolina and around the nation," he added.

Attorneys General Herbert Slatery (Tenn.), Josh Shapiro (Pa.) and Ken Paxton (Texas) also agreed to the framework. 

Under the agreement, each state and its local governments will receive a share of the $22 billion in cash to provide addiction treatment, paramedic services and telehealth treatment. 

McKesson, a drug distribution company, would pay $6.68 billion over 18 years, the highest amount of all the companies in the settlement. 

Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, also drug distributors, would pay about $5.6 billion each over 18 years. 

Johnson & Johnson, a drug manufacturer, would pay $4 billion over two to three years, while Teva would pay $250 million over 10 years. 

Teva would also supply $23 billion of its generic suboxone product over 10 years. 

McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen also reached a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties Monday. 

 

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