Opioid makers avoid trial with last-minute deal
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/22/19, 09:34 am
A middle-of-the-night, $260 million settlement on Monday averted the first federal opioid trial, which was set to start hours later. Drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson will pay two Ohio counties a combined $215 million, according to Cuyahoga County’s attorney, with an additional $20 million in cash and $25 million worth of opioid treatment Suboxone coming from Israeli drugmaker Teva. None of the companies had to admit wrongdoing under the deal.
Does the settlement let the drugmakers off the hook? The deal allows the companies to avoid a jury verdict and possible judgment of wrongdoing. But it also assures Cuyahoga and Summit Counties in Ohio money to start recovery efforts. The settlement might set a standard for more than 2,600 other lawsuits ongoing against the U.S. pharmaceutical industry related to the opioid crisis.
Dig deeper: Read Charissa Koh’s report in Compassion about how states might spend opioid settlement money.
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