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.
The lead lawyer, Paul T. Farrell, Jr. has not agreed to the offer. “West Virginia fully supports the national settlement on behalf of every other state,” said Mr. Farrell, who represents numerous West Virginia small governments. “It’s just not good enough for us.”
After a long day of negotiations on Friday between major drug industry corporations and thousands of local governments and states suing over the companies’ role in the opioid epidemic, talks ended with the parties — even among the plaintiffs — still far apart.
the daunting financial muscle that has driven the spread of prescription opioids in the United States comes from the distributors — companies that act as middlemen, trucking medications of all kinds from vast warehouses to hospitals, clinics and drugstores.