Four drug companies reached last-minute settlements to avoid the Ohio opioid trial.
The three largest drug distributors, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, agreed to pay $215 million collectively. Teva reached a settlement for $20 million over the next two years and will donate $25 million in addiction-treatment drugs, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Those final settlements left Walgreens as the only defendant in the case brought by two Ohio counties. The trial was set to begin Monday, but it will be postponed, according to the report.
The Ohio counties’ trial was the first to go to court out of more than 2,000 opioid-related lawsuits in federal court. It was considered a bellwether for the remaining cases. The lawsuits sought to hold pharma companies, distributors and pharmacies responsible for the opioid crisis and claimed that these companies deceptively marketed and overprescribed these painkillers.
In the past few weeks, other defendants in the case also settled ahead of the trial, including Johnson & Johnson for $20 million, Mallinckrodt for $30 million, Endo International for $10 million and Allergan for $5 million.
Purdue Pharma, which makes well-known opioid OxyContin, and its owners the Sackler family proposed to pay up to $12 billion to settle all of the federal lawsuits, including the Ohio counties. Part of this settlement also included the company filing for bankruptcy.