New York Reaches $1 Billion Settlement With Major Opioid Distributors

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Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The state of New York has reached a settlement worth $1.1 billion with a trio of America’s largest drug companies over their role in the country’s ongoing opioid crisis.

McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen will pay out the sum over the course of 17 years, but will admit no wrongdoing in the case as part of the agreement. “Over the course of these past two decades, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen distributed these opioids without regard to the national crisis they were helping to fuel,” New York Attorney General Letitia James told NPR.

The settlement includes an agreement from the companies to implement a new tracking system to better monitor the amount of opioids sold to American pharmacies. (RELATED: McKinsey Reaches $573 Million Settlement With States For Role In Opioid Crisis)

Multiple outlets have reported that an ongoing trial between the three companies, along with Johnson & Johnson, and the federal government is on the verge of a settlement as well. An announcement on that settlement, which could be as costly as $26 billion, is expected as soon as this week. James’ office settled with Johnson & Johnson separately last month for around $230 million.

The cash from the settlement will primarily go toward preventing opioid abuse in struggling communities, New York officials reportedly said. Recently-released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 2020 saw a record number of overdose deaths in the United States, around three-quarters of which were caused by opioid abuse.

One additional lawsuit in West Virginia involving McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen is expected to wrap up by August.