Drug distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. agreed to a $260 million settlement in relation to a landmark opioid abuse case early Monday morning.
The initial settlement includes $215 million in payments made by the distributors – the three largest in the country according to USA Today – to two Ohio counties. Teva must also make $45 million in payouts and donations to addiction centers. The Washington Post noted that while a fifth defendant, Walgreens, was not a part of the initial settlement, a sixth, Henry Schein Medical, must also pay $1.25 million to the two Ohio counties.
The New York Times reports that additional settlements involving thousands of other opioid cases could be reached at a later date.
Millions of lives have been destroyed by opioids over the past two decades. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are 130 opioid related deaths in the country every single day and the annual economic burden produced by the opioid crisis totals nearly $80 billion.
The crisis is now so widespread that the children’s program “Sesame Street” has been forced to address the issue. (RELATED: The Opioid Crisis Is Such A Widespread American Problem Even ‘Sesame Street’ Is Tackling It)
This is a developing story. It will be updated as more information becomes available.