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4 Pharma Companies Settle Opioid Lawsuits Ahead Of Trial With Ohio Counties; 2,300 Cases Remain

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4 Pharma Companies Settle Opioid Lawsuits Ahead Of Trial With Ohio Counties; 2,300 Cases Remain

McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK), Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE: CAH), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE: TEVA) and AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC) have reached 11th-hour settlements to avert opioid trials in Ohio, The Wall Street Journal reported

Details were expected to emerge early Monday.

At the time of publication, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA), a fifth defendant in the case, had not struck a deal.

What Happened

Officials from Cuyahoga and Summit counties joined thousands of plaintiffs from across the country in accusing the companies of fueling the national opioid crisis.

The defendants peddled their painkillers without warning of addiction risks and permitted a high flow of pills into communities now reeling from substance abuse, according to the lawsuits.

The lawsuits were aggregated in a Cleveland federal court, and jury proceedings were set to start Monday with the two local trials.

The two counties previously settled with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Endo International PLC (NASDAQ: ENDP), Mallinckrodt PLC (NYSE: MNK) and Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN).

Why It’s Important

The recent series of settlements between opioid manufacturers and the Ohio counties alone cost the industry more than $60 million.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following its recent payouts. Fellow pharmaceutical companies fear similarly burdensome resolutions.

At least five are pursuing a global settlement by contributing to a trust established through Purdue’s bankruptcy case.

What’s Next

The five defendants in Ohio are continuing negotiations to settle more than 2,300 related lawsuits brought before the Cleveland federal court from hospitals, municipalities and others across the U.S.

AmerisourceBergen shares were down 1.86% in Monday's premarket session, while Cardinal Health shares were down 2.99%, Teva shares were down 1.47% and McKesson shares were falling by 3.91%. 

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