$48B Master Opioid Settlement Proposed by AG’s

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting:

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced on Monday a proposal to settle thousands of opioid lawsuits across the country for $48 billion in cash and treatment medication from major pharmaceutical companies.

The proposal on the table is meant to resolve litigation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The group of four state attorneys general leading the settlement talks said they are now working to get other states and local governments on board, in an attempt to resolve the massive litigation stemming from an opioid crisis that has led to more than 400,000 deaths and left cities and countries struggling with the costs of addiction in their communities.

For scope, the 1998 landmark legal settlement between the states and tobacco companies (the Master Settlement Agreement or MSA), required the companies to pay more than $200 billion over time as compensation for tobacco-related health care costs, restricted some forms of tobacco marketing and provided funding for a national public education campaign to prevent youth tobacco use.

Meanwhile, on Monday the nation’s three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker agreed to an 11th-hour, $260 million settlement averting the first federal trial over the crisis.

AP NEWS reports, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson will pay a combined $215 million, said Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer for Cuyahoga County. Israeli-based drugmaker Teva will contribute $20 million in cash and $25 million worth of generic Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

The deal contains no admission of wrongdoing by the defendants.

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