AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health and McKesson Corp. have agreed to settle a majority of the opioid lawsuits filed by state and local governments in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports. More than 90 percent of the eligible political subdivisions as measured by population have signed on to an agreement that covers 46 states. The settlement specifies that AmerisourceBergen will pay up to $6.1 billion, Cardinal Health will pay up to $6 billion, and McKesson will pay up to $7.4 billion over the course of 18 years, with funds going to communities affected by the opioid crisis. The companies agreed to establish a clearinghouse to consolidate their data.
According to a press release from McKesson, the deal was put on the table in July of last year, after which states and political subdivisions were able to sign on. The only states who aren't included in the present settlement are Alabama, Oklahoma, Washington, and West Virginia. West Virginia had already settled with the companies before the new agreement was reached. The companies say that there is also a separate agreement in principle to settle with all federally recognized Native American tribes except the Cherokee Nation, which has already settled.