Lawyers for Local Governments Unveil Proposal for Settling Opioid Lawsuits

pills on American flag

Lawyers for local governments suing pharmaceutical companies, drug distributors and pharmacy chains over the opioid epidemic have announced a proposed settlement, NPR reports.

The deal could send tens of billions of dollars to communities on the front lines of the opioid addiction crisis, the article notes.

“There has got to be a comprehensive approach to addressing the national epidemic, and this is a step toward that,” said Joe Rice, co-lead counsel for attorneys who filed the motion. The framework for the settlement was filed in federal court in Ohio, and needs to be approved by the court. None of the defendant companies have approved the framework yet.

More than 1,800 lawsuits have been filed against companies including Johnson & Johnson, CVS, Walmart and drug distributor McKesson. The suits claim the companies aggressively marketed and sold prescription opioids, leading to billions of dollars in profits.

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.

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