Drug Distributors, JNJ Agree To Settle $26B Opioid Lawsuits

Distributors McKesson Corporation MCKAmerisourceBergen Corp ABCCardinal Health Inc CAH, and Johnson & Johnson JNJ have agreed to finalize a proposed $26 billion settlement resolving claims by states and local governments regarding the opioid epidemic.

The deal aims to resolve more than 3,000 lawsuits, mainly by state and local governments seeking to hold the companies responsible for an opioid abuse crisis.

Related: McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen Face $95B Opioid Trial In Washington: Reuters.

The distributors said there was "sufficient participation" to proceed. 

The announcement paves the way for the companies to start payments in April.

First announced in July, the proposed settlement calls for the distributors to pay up to $21 billion over 18 years and J&J to pay up to $5 billion over nine years. AmerisourceBergen will pay $6.1 billion, Cardinal Health $6.0 billion, and McKesson will pay $7.4 billion.

This settlement only addresses the claims of U.S. state and territorial attorney generals and political subdivisions in participating states and territories. Alabama, Oklahoma, and Washington chose not to participate in the settlement. 

Price Action: MCK shares are up 2.77% at $273.98, CAH stock is up 2.50% at $53.79, and ABC shares are up 2.17% at $140.86 during the market session on the last check Friday.

Posted In: Health CareHealth Care DistributorsOpioidsBiotechNewsHealth CareLegalGeneral