4 US drug companies reach settlement over opioid crisis

WASHINGTON

Four drug companies accused of fueling America’s crippling opioid crisis reached a settlement early Monday with two Ohio counties that averts what would have been the first federal opioid trial in U.S. history.

The agreement, reported by multiple news outlets, was reached just hours before oral arguments were set to begin in Cleveland, Ohio.

Drug distributers McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, and drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical all agreed to settle with Summit and Cuyahoga counties.

The exact dollar amounts each corporation has agreed to pay are unclear.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, a fifth plaintiff, did not agree to the settlement, according to NBC News, which said the judge in the case has set a new date for proceedings to begin.

The epidemic has ravaged entire communities and over 300,000 Americans have died since 2000 as a result of opioid overdoses.

In all, 10 companies are facing over 2,000 lawsuits linked to their role in the opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma, who is alleged to have played a key role in the epidemic, filed for bankruptcy in September. It agreed in principle to an agreement with 24 state attorneys general and five U.S. territories to provide over $10 billion in compensation.
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