Drug Companies Reach $26 Billion Settlement For Opioid Distribution

Finally, some pharmaceutical companies are being held accountable for their involvement in the U.S. opioid epidemic that has taken tens of thousands of lives over the past few years alone.

Four of America’s largest drug companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson, have agreed to pay a $26 billion settlement with local governments that sued them over distributing opioids.

If the deal is approved, Johnson & Johnson will pay $5 billion over a course of nine years, with $3.7 billion paid during the first three, The Hill reported. The major pharmaceutical company will also quit selling opioids.

Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen will pay the remaining $21 billion over 18 years.

The settlement money will be distributed to states, cities, counties, and individuals who have filed lawsuits against the companies for their role in the opioid epidemic.

States will reportedly have 30 days to sign on, while local governments will have 150 days to agree with the deal.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who was instrumental in negotiating the deal, said the “historic amount of money” will “bring much-needed treatment and recovery services” to settlement recipients.

“While no amount of money will ever be enough, this settlement will force these drug companies to pay a historic amount of money to bring much-needed treatment and recovery services,” Stein said in a statement.

Nine state attorneys general said in a joint statement on Tuesday “Millions of people across the nation are sick or dead from opioid addiction.” They continued, “State attorneys general have been hard at work negotiating on their behalf for years to force these companies to pay to combat the opioid epidemic they helped to create and fuel.”

“Our negotiations are progressing well and potentially nearing their completion,” they added. “We look forward to bringing much-needed dollars home to our states to help people recover from opioid addiction and to fundamentally change the opioid manufacturing and distributing industries so this never happens again.”

A mass number of states will have to sign on to the settlement in order for the agreement to be finalized.

The post Drug Companies Reach $26 Billion Settlement For Opioid Distribution appeared first on Freedom Wire.

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Author: Grace Saldana

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