Top distributors may settle opioid litigation for $18B

McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health are in talks to settle opioid litigation brought against them by states and local governments for $18 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The three distributors, accused of fueling the opioid crisis, are defendants in the federal opioid trial scheduled to begin Oct. 21 in Cleveland with two Ohio counties serving as bellwethers.

People familiar with the settlement talks told the WSJ the three distributors would pay $18 billion over 18 years if the plaintiffs' lawyers agree to the deal.

Johnson & Johnson is also in talks to contribute additional money to the settlement deal and other drugmakers may join.

If the settlement is reached, it would be the first to achieve a broad resolution of opioid lawsuits outside of bankruptcy.

A bipartisan group of attorneys general in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and North Carolina have been leading the discussions for the settlement, according to the WSJ.

Any global resolution reached by distributors could affect or delay the trial.

Read the full article here.

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