Ian Patrick, FISM News
The court cases against pharmaceuticals concerning the opioid crisis may be coming to a close.
Four pharmaceutical companies – AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson— along with Johnson & Johnson are facing a $26 billion settlement with U.S. states and attorney generals over their responsibility in the opioid crisis. While not officially unveiled, the settlement is expected to have J&J pay $5 billion over the next nine years while the other three pay $21 billion over 18 years.
However, the settlement is not necessarily a done deal. According to Reuters, states and “political subdivisions” themselves must agree to the settlement. For those who do not agree, there may be a chance for them to pursue separate litigation somewhere down the road.
Reuters reports, “States will have 30 days to decide whether to join the global accord then more time to try to convince their cities and counties to participate in the deal.” This is according to sources familiar with the matter, who also say that 40 states are expected to joint the settlement.
This is not the only case where one of these pharmaceuticals have been under fire for the opioid crisis. Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson agreed to another settlment with New York State and two New York counties over their involvement with opioids within that state.
CDC data shows that the overdose deaths rose by about 20,000 within the year, or about 30%, within the United States alone. An FISM News report on this CDC data shows that of all the deaths caused by overdoses, “75% were caused by opioids in general and almost 62% were specifically caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl and tramadol.”