Opioid Distributors Propose $10 Billion to End State Claims

 

McKesson Corp.Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. have proposed paying $10 billion to settle claims they helped to fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic -- the first sign of progress in resolving state lawsuits against the drug distributors, according to people familiar with negotiations.

The companies, which deliver the majority of prescription medications to U.S. pharmacies, made the verbal proposal as part of talks with a group of state attorneys general, said three people familiar with the offer who asked that their names not be used because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

It’s the first time in two years of discussions that the three distributors put a dollar figure on the table to resolve lawsuits against them, the people said. The National Association of Attorneys General -- handling talks on behalf of more than 35 states -- countered with a demand for $45 billion to cover costs from the public-health crisis of opioid addiction and overdoses, the people said. Any settlement would be paid out over decades, they said.
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