Attorneys general from 21 states rejected an $18 billion offer from three drug wholesalers to settle lawsuits over their role in the opioid epidemic, The Wall Street Journal reports.
At least 30 states have sued the drug wholesalers or have been involved in negotiations to resolve claims, the article notes. The states that rejected the $18 billion offer want the companies to contribute between $22 billion and $32 billion.
States that signed onto the letter included some places hardest hit by the opioid crisis, including Ohio and West Virginia. Most of the attorneys general who signed the letters were Democrats, although some Republicans including West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey and Florida’s Ashley Moody also signed.
Attorneys general from North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee were among those who did not sign the letter.
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.