(Reuters) – A group of state attorneys on Wednesday unveiled a milestone, $ 26 billion settlement, which resolves allegations that the three largest U.S. drug distributors and drug maker Johnson & Johnson helped drive a deadly nationwide opioid epidemic.
Under the settlement proposal, distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. are expected to pay a total of $ 21 billion, while Johnson & Johnson would pay $ 5 billion.
The money from the distributors will be paid out over the next 18 years. . J&J will pay over nine years, with up to $ 3.7 billion paid over the first three years.
Distributors were accused of lax control that made it possible to send huge amounts of addictive painkillers to illegal channels, devastating communities, while J&J was accused. to downplay the risk of abuse in its opioid marketing.
The companies have denied the allegations.
The agreement also calls for the creation of an independent clearing house to provide all three distributors and government regulators with aggregated information on where medicines go and how often a tool dealer hopes to help reduce pills transmitted to communities.