In a major move, the third week of the ongoing New York State opioid trial saw the three largest U.S. drug distributors — McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation — agree mid-trial to settle claims with New York State, including both Suffolk County and Nassau County. If approved by the state and county legislatures, the agreement will require the three companies to pay a combined $1.18 billion over the next 17 years.
The distributors’ decision to settle claims follows Johnson & Johnson’s $230 million settlement, which Suffolk and Nassau County general legislatures approved. The settlement includes a pledge from Johnson & Johnson to completely exit the opioid business in the United States.
Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholder Jayne Conroy, who is representing Suffolk County in the opioid trial, said in a statement, “We are once again pleased to announce another major settlement with one of the manufactures who have played such a major role in creating the opioid crisis here in New York State and across the country.”
“Settlements at these levels help deliver resources to communities in an expeditious manner. This settlement will help directly fund addiction prevention, education and treatment programs that are so critical to the recovery of our families and communities. Bringing these companies to the table through the litigation process is crucial to holding them accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. We remain focused on the landmark trial that continues in New York State as we continue to show the public just how serious of a crisis the defendants have created.”
The entire opioid supply chain, from manufacturers to pharmacies, are facing litigation in litigation across the country. Opioid manufacturers are accused of deceptively marketing their products, misleading the public about their highly addictive properties, and failing to monitor diversion. Distributors of opioids are accused of failing to properly monitor orders of opioids, and pharmacies of failing to act on overprescribing and over-ordering.
Suffolk Legislator Rob Calarco, who helped approve the Johnson & Johnson settlement, said in a statement, “While these settlements cannot repair the damage done or bring back those who we lost to the grips of this epidemic, it has already made a substantial impact.”
According to representatives from the county, the settlement funds from Johnson & Johnson will be used for mental health and addiction programs.
The New York State opioid trial continues against three major drugmakers, Endo International Plc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and AbbVie Inc’s Allergan unit, which all stand accused of having deceptively marketed their opioid painkillers.
The New York State case is still in its first month and is expected to take 3-4 months.
A Full List of Week Three and Four Coverage:
Top national and regional media coverage of the opioid trial from the past week presented in reverse chronological order.
- Associated Press
- Financial Times
- The Guardian
- The Hill
- Market Watch
- McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen stocks surge after $1.1 billion opioid settlement with NY AG
- New York Daily News
- New York Times
- Seeking Alpha
- Spectrum News 1
- Star Gazette
- Stat News
- Times Union
- Washington Post
- Wall Street Journal
- Fox 5
- Fox 4
- Spectrum News 1
- LI Herald
- My Twin Tiers
- Seeking Alpha