A group of drug manufacturers and distributors is reportedly close to settling thousands of opioid lawsuits.
Sources told the New York Times that drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation, along with drug manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Teva, are working out a settlement with several states and local governments. The $50 billion deal would pay for costs associated with the opioid epidemic, including health care, law enforcement and addiction treatment.
The parties are trying to finalize a deal before next week, when the first federal trial centered around the nation's opioid crisis is set to begin in Ohio. A settlement would allow the defendants to avoid the trial.
State and local governments have filed over 2,000 lawsuits accusing the drug industry of fueling the opioid crisis, which has led to 400,000 deaths in two decades.