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FACTBOX-Companies pay billions of dollars over role in U.S. opioid crisis

07/21/2021 | 03:05pm EDT

July 21 (Reuters) - State attorneys general on Wednesday unveiled a $26 billion settlement with the three largest U.S. drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson to resolve thousands of lawsuits by states and local governments over the companies' role in the country's opioid painkiller crisis.

The following is a list of major companies that were alleged to have contributed to the crisis and the legal settlements or judgments involving those companies.

Drug distributors and pharmacy chains have been accused of lax controls that contributed to addictive painkillers being diverted to illegal channels. Drugmakers have been accused of deceptively marketing their prescription painkillers by downplaying the risks of addiction.

The companies have denied the allegations.


Cardinal Health Inc, AmerisourceBergen Corp and McKesson Corp

-Agreed in July to a $21 billion settlement with U.S. state attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments to settle more than 3,000 lawsuits. The settlement value could change as governments decline to join the deal take their cases to trial.

-Agreed in October 2019 to a combined $215 million settlement with the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit on the eve of a trial.


Purdue Pharma

-The company will ask for bankruptcy court approval in August for a deal that Purdue says is worth $10 billion to settle allegations by states and local governments. Members of the Sackler family who own Purdue have agreed to contribute around $4.3 billion to the plan.

-In November 2020, the company entered a guilty plea to three criminal counts for violating a federal anti-kickback law, defrauding the United States and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The plea deal included more than $8 billion in penalties and fines that will mostly go unpaid because the company is in bankruptcy.

-Former board members agreed in October 2020 to pay $225 civil penalty for allegedly causing false claims for OxyContin to be made to government healthcare programs such as Medicare. They have denied the allegations.

-Agreed in March 2019 along with Sackler family members to pay $270 million to state of Oklahoma

Johnson & Johnson

-Agreed in July to pay $5 billion in a settlement alongside drug distributors with state attorneys general and lawyers for local governments. The settlement value could change depending if states and local governments opt out of the agreement and pursue the company at trial.

-In August 2019, Oklahoma Judge Thad Balkman ordered the company to pay $572 million after a finding the company liable of deceptively marketing its painkillers. The judgment was later reduced to $465 million. J&J is appealing.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

-Settled in October 2019 with Ohio counties The Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit on the eve of a trial, agreeing to pay $20 million in cash and contribute $25 million of Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment, over three years.

-Agreed in June 2019 to pay Oklahoma $85 million on the eve of a trial.

Insys Therapeutics Inc

-Agree in June 2019 to pay $225 million and an operating unit entered a guilty plea to fraud to settle probes into their payment of kickbacks to induce doctors to prescribe addictive opioids. The settlement followed a conviction of founder John Kapoor on racketeering conspiracy charges. Insys has filed for bankruptcy.

Indivior Plc

-Agreed in July 2020 to pay $600 million and have a subsidiary plead guilty to a felony to resolve allegations it engaged in an illegal scheme to boost prescriptions of Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment.

Endo International Plc and Allergan Plc

-The drugmakers agreed in August in 2019 to pay $15 million to the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit ahead of a trial.


-Said in October 2020 when it filed for bankruptcy protection that it planned to pay $1.6 billion to settle claims by state attorneys general and local governments.

Reckitt Benckiser

-Agreed in July 2019 to pay up to $1.4 billion to resolve U.S. government claims that its former pharmaceuticals business Indivior before it was spun out of the company carried out an illegal scheme to boost sales of an opioid addiction treatment.


CVS Health Corp, Rite Aid Corp and Walmart Inc

-Agreed in July to pay a combined $26 million to settle claims by the New York counties of Suffolk and Nassau that they fueled an opioid addiction epidemic.


McKinsey & Co

The global consulting firm allegedly contributed to the crisis by helping drug manufacturers including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, owned by Sackler family members, design marketing plans and boost sales of painkillers. The company did not admit wrongdoing.

-Agreed in February and March to pay about $645 million to 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC -3.18% 2.74 Delayed Quote.-61.84%
INDIVIOR PLC 2.14% 209.8 Delayed Quote.92.83%
RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP PLC 1.20% 5925 Delayed Quote.-9.43%
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