To reform the way opioids are marketed and sold, some of the largest United States corporations could be paying out roughly $32 billion to victims and governments. Currently, there are two major negotiations, one of which has been settled, and the other still in the works.
The largest negotiations include major drug distributors and wholesalers AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson. The companies settled at $26 billion.
The second negotiation involves Purdue Pharma and the company’s owners, the Sackler family. Purdue Pharma makes OxyContin, one of the most widely abused painkillers by Americans ages 12 and older. While a settlement has been reached, it requires approval from U.S Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain.
After negotiations and countless lawsuits linked to four of the largest corporations in the United States, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay roughly $26 billion.
As part of the negotiations, 46 states and 90% of eligible local governments signed onto the deal, to move forward and settle the majority of current opioid lawsuits against those companies.
Johnson & Johnson, who manufacturers generic opioid medications, will contribute $5 billion to the settlement and had announced in 2020 it would leave the U.S. opioid market completely.
Wholesalers AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson will pay a combined $21 billion with each company paying out the following:
Payouts will begin in April and continue for the next two decades.
The majority of the funds from the settlement are to be used for health care and drug treatment programs geared toward the opioid crisis.
Regardless of the settlement, none of the companies have admitted to wrongdoing or participation in exasperating the opioid crisis.
The settlement involving AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson will resolve thousands of civil lawsuits which date back to 2014.
Unlike the tobacco settlement of the 1990s where funds were not used appropriately to help the public health crisis of tobacco addiction, the $26 billion settlement will go directly to opioid crisis initiatives and communities that have been largely impacted by the opioid epidemic.
On March 3, Purdue Pharma reached a nationwide deal with the Sackler family to pay up to $6 billion for its involvement in the opioid crisis. The deal was reached after an earlier settlement had been appealed by eight states and the District of Columbia. The deal was accepted once the Sackler family provided more financial support and accepted the other terms of the negotiations.
Under the new settlement, the Sackler family is protected from civil lawsuits.
The $6 billion settlement could equal more than $10 billion over time. Under the settlement, the Sackler family must give up control of Purdue Pharma company so it can be transformed into a new organization, with the profits being used to combat the opioid crisis.
While the settlement does protect the family from civil lawsuits, they do remain at risk for criminal charges. However, none have been brought forward at this time.
Further, the victims of the opioid crisis have a videoconference scheduled to address the Sackler family; this has previously not been able to take place.
Details of the settlement are in a report filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York awaiting judge approval.
If approved, victims and survivors will be able to share a $750 million fund–a provision not found in other opioid-related settlements. So far, 149,000 people have made claims and could qualify for fund shares.
Additionally, states will be able to create funds from the settlement to compensate victims beyond the $750 million funds should they decide to do so.
Other details of the settlement include:
Overall, the settlement will be distributed to state and local governments, Native American Tribes, and hospitals.
Payments from the settlement are to begin once the company emerges from bankruptcy. Purdue Pharma will also undergo a name change to Knoa Pharma. However, when the company’s bankruptcy will end is unclear, however, the final payment of the settlement will be made by 2039.
Purdue Pharma had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2019 after thousands of lawsuits against the company and the Sackler family were filed claiming “deceptive marketing” practices.
Though the lawsuits against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson for their involvement in the opioid crisis will end, lawsuits are still expected against the nation’s largest pharmacy chains including CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. While the companies have not admitted wrongdoing, nor have there been any negotiations, federal judges are beginning to calculate what the pharmaceutical companies will be required to pay.
These companies have already announced they will appeal.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in November 2021, that for the first time in the United States history, more than 100,000 people had died in 12 months from drug overdoses.
While many blamed the surge on the prevalence of street drugs and lack of drug treatment programs due to COVID-19 concerns during the most rampant parts of the pandemic, the data shows that the abuse of opioids has been a trend for years.
The hope is that settlements such as those of AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Johnson & Johnson, and Purdue Pharma will help curb the growth of the epidemic by getting to the root of the problem– the creation, distribution, and sale of highly addictive opioids.
When you or a loved one were prescribed a painkiller such as OxyContin, you expected it to help you through a hard time in your life–not extend the suffering. Unfortunately, because of overprescribing of these medications, thousands of Americans are now suffering from lifelong addiction. And unfortunately, many of these victims lose their battle from fatal overdoses.
At Regan Zambri Long, we know how horrific the suffering of opioid addiction is, not just for the victim, but for their loved ones as well. This is why we work tirelessly to help those who have suffered at the hands of medical providers and large drug corporations to ensure they receive the compensation they need for the losses they have sustained.
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of drug addiction because of the deceitful marketing practices by the nation’s largest drug manufacturers and distributors, we want to help.
Call the personal injury lawyers of Regan Zambri Long today for a no-obligation, free consultation. We can help you explore potential avenues for recovery and see if you qualify for any of the funds currently available.
Addiction has taken so much from your family. Fight back and get what you deserve by calling us today at 202-960-4596 or completing our online form.Tagged opioid crisis