(Reuters) – US states seek a combined $ 26.4 billion from three major drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson to resolve opioid lawsuits against companies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter .
About a dozen attorneys general are seeking a $ 21.14 billion collective from distributors, which includes McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, and $ 5.28 billion from J&J, the WSJ reported.
AmerisourceBergen declined to comment on the report, while Cardinal Health, J&J and McKesson did not respond to Reuters' request for comment.
"We believe that this latest settlement proposal would be seen as a favorable outcome and expect equities to respond positively to the news as a global solution would put the uncertainty behind," said JP Morgan analyst Lisa Gill.
The lawsuits accuse drug manufacturers of exaggerating the benefits of opioids while downplaying the risks, claiming dis tributors failed to flag and stop a rising tide of suspicious orders.
A closely monitored opioid trial that pitted the New York State against McKesson, Johnson & Johnson and others was postponed in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Shares of McKesson were up slightly in early trading, while others were marginally down.
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