US pharma giant Johnson & Johnson, and three of America’s largest medical distributors, have agreed to pay $26bn (£19bn) to settle more than 3,000 lawsuits over the role they played in fuelling America’s opioid crisis.
New Jersey drugmaker J&J, and medicine distributors Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and Distributors McKesson, finalized a deal through which they will pay $26bn to settle thousands of lawsuits put forward by state and local governments who hold the companies responsible for the opioid crisis.
The firms had until today to decide whether to settle the cases out-of-court, after the deal was first announced in July 2021. The settlement will see J&J pay $5bn over the next nine years, while the distributors will pay $21bn over 18 years
The settlement comes after the Sackler family, which owns OxyContin drugmaker Purdue Pharma, offered to pay up to $6bn to settle claims out of court. Other major companies, including Israeli firm Teva, are also in discussions to settle opioid lawsuits out of court.