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22 Jul 2021

Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN (USA)

USA: McKesson, Cardinal, & Amerisource Bergen settle New York state opioid lawsuit for $1.1 billion

"Three opioid distributors settle New York lawsuit for $1.1 billion", 20 Jul 2021

Three opioid distributors have settled a lawsuit with New York state to the tune of over $1 billion...

McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation have agreed to pay $1.1 billion towards opioid abatement efforts in the Empire State, according to the statement.

This effectively ends their participation in an ongoing civil suit in New York...

The money will be paid out over the course of the next 17 years, with the first payment coming in September.

The three distributors have also agreed to monitoring of their opioid shipments going forward, with a third-party, independent watchdog overseeing pharmacy-level distribution data pooled among the three companies.

McKesson, Cardinal, and Amerisource Bergen were sued by the State of New York in 2019, part of a sweeping lawsuit against a long slate of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. At the time, James accused the companies of engaging in "years of deceptive marketing about the risks of opioids and (failure) to exercise their basic duty to report suspicious behavior."

Johnson & Johnson settled with the state last month, paying $230 million to resolve the suit. Several other defendants in the initial suit, including Purdue Pharma and distributor Rochester Drug Cooperative, have declared bankruptcy, and the cases against them are moving through the bankruptcy court system.

Three additional opioid manufacturers -- Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Allergan Finance, LLC -- continue to contest the state's claims at trial.