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

  • A Washington state trial against McKesson Corporation MCKCardinal Health Inc CAH, and AmerisourceBergen Corp ABC for the U.S. opioid epidemic is slated to kick off today, Reuters reported.
  • Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson declined to join a $26 billion nationwide settlement and has accused the drug distributors of creating a public nuisance by failing to prevent the diversion of prescription pills into illegal channels.
  • Washington seeks $38.2 billion to fund treatment and other programs and more in penalties and forfeited profits. 
  • The distributors, who deny wrongdoing, say the state wants a "wildly inflated recovery" of more than $95 billion.
  • Washington state would have been eligible for $527.5 million if it had joined a proposed deal, under which the distributors would pay up to $21 billion, and Johnson & Johnson JNJ would pay $5 billion to resolve the cases.
  • Ferguson, a Democrat, has criticized the settlement as "not nearly good enough," saying the nearly $30 million on average the state and its communities would receive annually was insufficient to address the devastation caused by the epidemic.
  • The state became one of eight to not participate in the distributors' nationwide accord and opted to proceed to trial.
  • Related Link: Oklahoma Supreme Court Overturns Opioid Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson.
  • Price Action: MCK shares are down 0.92% at $222.76, CAH stock is down 1.17% at 50.84, and ABC shares are down 0.48% at $124.74 during the market session on the last check Monday.
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