Verdicts & Settlements

4 drug companies agree to $260M opioid settlement with 2 Ohio counties

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Four drug companies have agreed to a $260 million opioid settlement with two Ohio counties—Cuyahoga and Summit counties—that contended that the companies misled the public in their opioid marketing and created a public nuisance that endangered health.

The companies agreeing to the settlement are top drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen and generic drugmaker Teva, report the New York Times and the Washington Post. Walgreens did not reach a settlement, and it remains a defendant in the litigation.

The trial, which was set to begin Monday before U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of Cleveland, has been postponed. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati had refused to stop the trial in an Oct. 10 decision.

The drug distributors will reportedly pay $215 million, and Teva will reportedly pay $20 million and provide $25 million in anti-addiction medications.

Previously reaching settlement in the case are Johnson & Johnson; Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Purdue Pharma, according to the New York Times.

The settlement does not resolve multidistrict opioid litigation involving 2,400 cities, towns and counties. Polster has certified an unusual negotiation class to try to achieve a global settlement in that litigation.

Purdue Pharma, a maker of OxyContin, has reached a tentative settlement in that global case in which Purdue Pharma would be restructured as a public benefit trust, and the company’s owners would pay $3 billion to the plaintiffs. The company has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Talks to resolve the global litigation are continuing.

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