Four drug companies and two Ohio counties have reached a $260 million settlement in a landmark lawsuit over the opioid epidemic, The Washington Post reports.
The settlement was reached hours before opening arguments were scheduled to start. Drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals and drug distributors McKesson Corp., Amerisource Bergen and Cardinal Health agreed to pay a total of $215 million. Teva will provide $20 million in cash and $25 million worth of the opioid addiction medication Suboxone.
The deal only involves Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio, and is not a “global resolution” to the nationwide litigation involving more than 2,700 local and state governments, according to USA Today.
Joseph F. Rice, one of the lead attorneys representing local state and county governments against drugmakers and distributors that sold opioid pills, told The Washington Post he believes “there are a lot of corporations involved in the opioid crisis . . . that recognize that it’s time for them to contact us, and let’s see if we can put everybody together and get a global settlement.”
Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action
Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.