$10 Billion From McKesson, Cardinal, Amerisource Could Trigger Global Opioid Settlement

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The opioid crisis continues to dominate the financial news cycle. Who will have to pay and how much, and how the states and counties will divvy up the settlement remains uncertain. The epidemic has become a political football, even drawing the attention of President Trump:

Last year President Trump was highly critical of opioid drug manufacturers. He wanted to shed more light on their role in the opioid crisis. The rise in prescription opioids has drawn the attention lawmakers across the country. Opioid prescriptions were 219 million in 2011; this was nearly triple the number reported 20 years earlier despite the fact the level of pain felt by Americans may not have increased proportionately.

Drug overdoses are the country’s biggest cause of accidental deaths, surpassing car accidents. Their growth have coincided with the rise in opioid prescription overdoses. Now someone has to pay. According to Bloomberg, state attorneys general have asked opioid distributors like McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH) and AmerisourceBergen (ABC):

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.

A global opioid settlement could be next. Read more:

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