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Nevada to join $26 billion opioid settlement with drug distributors, J&J

Stock MarketsJan 04, 2022 06:30PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Johnson & Johnson logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) -Nevada has agreed to back a proposed nationwide settlement worth up to $26 billion resolving lawsuits against three large drug distributors and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) over the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic, the state's attorney general said on Tuesday.

Nevada was among a handful of states that until now was not participating in the landmark agreements to resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits against J&J, McKesson Corp (NYSE:MCK), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) Corp and Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH).

The settlement's backers had agreed to extend to Jan. 26 a deadline for cities and counties in states that backed the proposal to opt-in to the settlements, citing the potential for more states to join.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said he was optimistic the state's local governments would join the settlements, allowing Nevada to receive more than $285 million.

"There is no question that the opioid epidemic has devastated Nevada and money is needed now to address comprehensive statewide remediation," he said in a statement.

J&J said it agreed to a $63 million settlement with Nevada consistent with its proposal to pay up to $5 billion to resolve cases against it nationally.

AmerisourceBergen and McKesson declined to comment. Cardinal Health did not respond to requests for comment.

More than 3,300 lawsuits largely by state and local governments are pending seeking to hold those and other companies responsible for an opioid abuse crisis that led to hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths over two decades.

The companies deny wrongdoing.

The distributors said in September that 42 states, five territories and Washington, D.C., had agreed to participate in their $21 billion settlement. A similar number backed J&J's proposal.

The extent state and local governments participate will shape how much the companies ultimately must pay and how much outstanding litigation they face. New Mexico, another holdout state, on Dec. 7 signed on.

Nevada to join $26 billion opioid settlement with drug distributors, J&J
 

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Comments (4)
Keng He
Keng He Jan 04, 2022 7:50PM ET
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it is not pharmacy problem. it is the problem of health system.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Jan 04, 2022 6:35PM ET
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The US stock "market" is a FRAUD.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Jan 04, 2022 6:34PM ET
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The global fraud called the US Ponzi Scheme continues to defraud America in broad daylight.
Stephen Towne
Stephen Towne Jan 04, 2022 5:18PM ET
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Big pharma is so trustworthy
 
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