In this news, we discuss the McKesson says potential opioid settlement proposal raised to up to $21 billion.
(Reuters) – McKesson Corp said on Tuesday that it and two other drug distributors are expected to pay up to $ 21 billion for the potential settlement of lawsuits alleging they have fueled the opioid epidemic in the United States.
McKesson, along with AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, had offered in October last year to pay a combined $ 18 billion to resolve the more than 3,000 lawsuits, with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson paying $ 4 billion.
AmerisourceBergen declined to comment. Cardinal Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuits were largely brought by states, counties and cities and aimed to hold companies accountable for an epidemic of opioid addiction which, according to U.S. government data, resulted in 450,000 overdose deaths from 1997 to 2018.
The proposal, which is part of a settlement framework negotiated with four state attorneys general, has met resistance from lawyers from local governments and several states, leading to further discussions. On October 13, J&J said it would now contribute $ 5 billion.
McKesson in a quarterly report said under the new $ 21 billion settlement framework proposed by attorneys general, the San Francisco-based company would pay around $ 8 billion over 18 years.
The three distributors are also expected to make changes to their programs to guard against illicit drug diversion, McKesson said.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Peter Graff
Original © Thomson Reuters