$260M Settlement Averts First Federal Opioid Trial

Two Ohio counties and four drug companies agreed to a $260 million settlement, averting the first federal opioid trial an hour before opening arguments were scheduled to begin Monday.

  • The deal is between distributors McKesson, AmeriSourceBergen and Cardinal Health, along with Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli manufacturer, and Ohio’s Summit and Cuyahoga counties.
  • The counties will receive $235 million in cash from the four companies and $25 million in anti-addiction medication from Teva.
  • Walgreens was not included, and the New York Times reported it will be going forward with its case.
  • The deal comes as talks for a $50 billion settlement collapsed over the weekend.
  • The drug companies are still contending with over 2,400 claims from across the country, which they hope to end with a wide-ranging settlement.

Almost 400,000 Americans have died in the opioid epidemic over the past two decades. Millions remain addicted, costing local governments millions of dollars and creating enormous strains on law enforcement, health providers and social services. Cities began filing lawsuits against the drug companies in 2014. By 2019, the number of opioid lawsuits ballooned to more than 2,500, with nearly every U.S. state filing separate litigation as well. The total economic toll of the crisis could range from $50 billion to over $1 trillion, according to estimates.

Read the source article at forbes.com

Judge denies J&J motion to end opioid trial

An ongoing lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for its part in the opioid crisis will continue after the company’s effort to have the case dismissed was denied Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman. He denied a motion to toss the lawsuit, which accuses Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries of creating a public nuisance and costing the state of Oklahoma billions of dollars.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter told the court during proceedings that 4,653 Oklahomans died of unintentional overdoses involving prescription opioids from 2007 to 2017, and that there were more than 28,000 admissions for opioid and heroin treatment through state services from 2012 to 2018.

Read the source article at cnn.com