In a late-night settlement negotiation on Monday, according to a source familiar with the discussions, McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation agreed to pay $ 1.1 billion for reduction efforts. of opioids in the Empire State, according to the statement.
“Today, we hold them accountable, providing more than $ 1 billion more to opioid-ravaged New York communities for treatment, recovery and prevention efforts,” added James. “While no amount of money will ever make up for the millions of addictions, the hundreds of thousands of deaths or the countless communities decimated by opioids, that money will be vital to preventing any future devastation.”
Tuesday’s settlement also includes funds for New York attorney fees.
The money will be paid over the next 17 years, with the first payment taking place in September.
All three distributors have also agreed to monitor their opioid shipments in the future, with an independent third-party watchdog overseeing pharmacy-level distribution data grouped between the three companies.
McKesson, Cardinal and Amerisource Bergen were sued by New York State in 2019, in a massive lawsuit against a long list of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. At the time, James accused companies of engaging in “years of deceptive marketing about the risks of opioids and (of failing) their fundamental duty to report suspicious behavior.”
Three other opioid makers – Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Allergan Finance, LLC – continue to challenge the state’s claims at trial.
Tuesday’s settlement was negotiated in coordination with efforts towards a so-called “comprehensive settlement” that aims to resolve thousands of opioid cases nationwide, according to James’ statement. These negotiations are ongoing.