Four Drug Companies Reach Last-Minute Settlement in Opioid Crisis, Avoiding Trial

FILE – In this Friday, April 5, 2019, file photo, a protester gathers containers that look like OxyContin bottles at an anti-opioid demonstration in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington, D.C. The U.S. has backed away from recommending opioids for long-term treatment of chronic pain. Nevertheless, companies continue pushing the drugs in other countries, and consumption is growing. Researchers in Brazil report, for example, that prescription opioid sales have increased 465 percent in six years. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Four large drug companies reached a last-minute $260 million legal settlement over their role in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic, averting the first federal trial that was scheduled to start Monday morning in Cleveland, Ohio.

The trial, set to begin today, came as Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit counties were seeking $8 billion dollars for treatment programs and health care expenses.
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Nearly a half million overdose deaths between 1997 and 2017 are attributed to opioids.
AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Teva are involved in the settlement, the details of which are expected later today.
A fifth defendant, pharmacy chain operator Walgreens Boots Alliance, was not part of the settlement.

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