J&J, 3 drug wholesalers reach $26B opioid settlement 

Four large U.S. corporations will pay $26 billion to settle lawsuits alleging their business practices fueled the opioid epidemic, NPR reported last week. 

Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured generic opioid medications, will pay $5 billion in the settlement, and three drug wholesalers  —  AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson – will pay a combined $21 billion, according to the Feb. 25 NPR report. 

The settlement resolves thousands of civil lawsuits filed since 2014 by local and state governments, as well as Native American tribes nationwide.

In a Feb. 25 statement from Johnson & Johnson, the corporation said its contribution to the settlement would "directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis."

Initial payments will begin in April and continue for two decades. 

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