Drug Companies Reach $26 Billion Settlement For Fueling Deadly Opioid Epidemic
A collection of the leading drug companies in the United States have reached a financial settlement for their role in fueling the deadly opioid epidemic.
Reportedly worth $26 billion, the settlement was reached between a collection of state attorneys general and the drug companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson. The deal is being made in order to severe the companies from being liable in the opioid crisis that has reportedly left over 500,000 Americans dead as a result.
If the states agree to all the terms, it would mean that they can no longer pursue legal action against any of the drug companies with regards to the opioid crisis. As such, the funds will be used to by the states and the cities to fund costs relating to the opioid crisis, such as rehabilitation centers and addiction treatments, as well as counseling and harm reduction services.
Not every state is involved in the deal at this point, but more can sign on to the agreement if they so choose. So far states that have agreed to the deal include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
This is only the latest payment made by drug companies in relation to the opioid crisis. Back in 2019, Johnson & Johnson also payed $572 million after a judge in Oklahoma ruled that the company was responsible for the opioid epidemic in the state. Just last month the company also settled a case in New York, where it was ordered to pay out $230 million.
One of the more high profile cases focusing on the opioid crisis centered around Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, who was forced to pay $4.28 billion to settle a lawsuit for its role in developing the highly addictive opioid Oxycontin.
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