21 states reject $18B opioid settlement offer from McKesson, Cardinal, AmerisourceBergen

Twenty-one states rejected an offer from McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen to settle opioid litigation for $18 billion paid over 18 years, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

The states are asking for a larger sum of money or for it to be paid out faster than 18 years. Some states want the settlement to be between $22 billion and $32 billion, the Journal reported. 

McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen are all accused of fueling the opioid crisis by funneling inappropriately large sums of opioids into states. 

The parties have been negotiating a settlement since at least October, and with the offer being rejected by 21 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., it is likely an agreement won't be reached soon, an Evercore ISI analyst told the Journal

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is encouraging wholesalers to either pay the $18 billion in a shorter time period or to pay a higher sum. Ohio reportedly hired a firm that found an $18 billion settlement would have "limited or no impact on the companies' finances," the Journal reported. 

AmerisourceBergen told the Journal it is "disappointed to hear that some states do not currently understand the merits of the global settlement framework that the distributors have been discussing with the attorneys general over the past many months."

McKesson told the Journal it's focused on "finalizing a global settlement structure that would serve as the best path forward to provide billions of dollars in immediate funding and relief to states and local communities."

Cardinal Health told the Journal it is still working toward " a nationwide settlement that would provide relief to communities impacted by the opioid epidemic."

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