NY Attorney General announce $1.18 bn settlement by drug distributors to resolve opioid claims

New York Attorney General on Tuesday said that the three largest US drug distributors have agreed to pay $1.18 billion to settle claims by New York state, which said that the distributors allegedly marketed opioid drugs as having low addiction risk. 

The state will also announce a $26 billion settlement by McKesson Corp (MCK.N), Cardinal Health Inc (CAH.N), and AmerisourceBergen Corp (ABC.N) along with Johnson and Johnson to resolve claims by the state that the companies fuelled the opium epidemic in the nation. 

“While no amount of money will ever compensate for the millions of addictions, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, or the countless communities decimated by opioids, this money will be vital in preventing any future devastation,” told Letitia James, Attorney General of New York state to Reuters.

The distributors were sued by Suffolk along with neighboring Nassau County and New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

According to Reuters, in a joint statement, the distributors called the settlement “an important step toward finalizing a broad settlement with states, counties, and political subdivisions.”

In a report released by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 500,000 people died due to opium overdoses in the US. It is reported that this crisis has become more severe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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