Fri Feb 14, 2020, 04:15 PM

21 States Reject Opioid Makers Settlement Offer of $18 Billion Over 18 Years

FEB. 14, 2020 11:31 AM
Twenty-one states are rejecting an $18-billion offer by McKesson Corp. and other opioid distributors to resolve nationwide litigation over their handling of the highly addictive painkillers, according to people familiar with the talks.

In a letter sent to lawyers for McKesson, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. earlier this week, the states’ attorneys general said the distributors’ settlement offer is unacceptable “as currently structured.” The companies would pay the combined $18 billion over 18 years according to the deal’s current iteration. The one-paragraph letter’s first three signatures were from the attorneys general of Florida, Ohio and Connecticut.

A copy of the letter was read to Bloomberg News on Friday by the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the talks. Settlement negotiations involving a group of attorneys general, the distributors and opioid makers have been ongoing for years.

“McKesson is focused on finalizing a global settlement structure that would serve as the best path forward to provide billions of dollars in immediate funding and relief to states and local communities,” David Matthews, a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company, said in a statement.

“We continue to work toward a nationwide settlement that would bring substantial and immediate relief to communities impacted by the opioid epidemic,” said Erica Lewis, spokeswoman for the Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health.


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