States reach $26 billion deal with three wholesalers and J&J to end opioid lawsuits

Three of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers and a major drug maker reached a $26 billion deal to settle lawsuits accusing the companies of fomenting the opioid crisis, which has claimed half a million lives over nearly two decades.

As part of the settlement, the wholesalers – McKesson (MCK), AmerisourceBergen (ABC) and Cardinal Health (CAH) – will pay up to $21 billion over the next 18 years, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) agreed to pay up to $5 billion over nine years and exit the opioid business. More than 40 states are expected to agree to the settlement, according to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

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