The nation’s three largest drug distributors and a major pharmaceutical manufacturer announced Friday that a supermajority of states and localities had accepted the terms of their $26 billion offer to settle thousands of civil claims related to the deadly opioid crisis. The first checks are expected to go out in early April.
or drug distributors and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson finalized a $26 billion agreement on Friday to bring relief to states and communities affected by the opioid epidemic, in what lawyers say is a turning point in the deadly public health crisis.
Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and three major distributors finalized nationwide settlements over their role in the opioid addiction crisis Friday, an announcement that clears the way for $26 billion to flow to nearly every state and local government in the U.S.
Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news.
With the rest of the country taking a chance to catch its breath after the announcement of a $26 billion settlement with some opioid firms, Huntington and Cabell County are standing firm as they prepare for closing arguments with opioid distributors this week.
Paul Farrell Jr., Cabell County’s lawyer, argued the drug companies never pulled the fire alarm despite numerous warnings about suspicious orders of oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Last week, Cabell County attorney Paul T. Farrell Jr. pointed to an internal memo that said a small pharmacy could order 350,000 hydrocodone or oxycodone pills a year, a medium pharmacy, 760,000, and a large pharmacy over 1 million without triggering a suspicious-order alert.
There were 24 doctors who were among the top 1% of opioid prescribers in Cabell County over two decades, but it is the outliers of those outliers who set a dreadful foundation that led to the current opioid crisis, experts say.
Distributors accused by Cabell County and Huntington of fueling the opioid crisis presented their first witness at a months-long trial Friday, a pain doctor whose testimony in effect strengthened the plaintiffs’ theory of there being a gateway between prescription opiates and heroin use.
A forensic economist testified Tuesday that a 15-year plan to abate the opioid crisis in Cabell County and the city of Huntington would cost $2.54 billion for governments whose combined annual budgets amount to less than $87 million.