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Drug Manufacturers Could Pay Up to $50 Billion for Role in Opioid Crisis

By: Shannon Persad October 22, 2019 no comments

Drug Manufacturers Could Pay Up to $50 Billion for Role in Opioid Crisis

Drug companies have had an immense amount of profit in the last couple of decades, but with the recent lawsuits and settlements against various companies, those profits are dwindling.

This year alone, companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, and Reckitt Benckiser Group have been in the headlines, owing states billions of dollars.

However, these are not the only companies in the crosshairs of state judges, as the lawsuits pile on for other manufacturers deemed responsible for the opioid crisis.

Which Companies Are Going to Pay?

The New York Times has reported several companies are in negotiations to pay over $50 billion in federal and state lawsuit settlements.

CNN has reported three companies—“AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation — are in negotiations to settle with over 2,000 state, local and Native American tribal governments over their alleged roles in the nationwide opioid crisis, according to the source.”

Those three companies will pay $18 billion over 18 years, in addition to Johnson & Johnson who will settle $4 billion.

Assuming a settlement is reached, Teva Pharmaceuticals will pay $15 billion in anti-addiction drugs, plus $14 billion towards distribution of those drugs. Teva produces generic drugs, and is one of the largest makers.

It has been said Purdue Pharma reached a settlement agreement in the litigation previously.

October 21st is the trial date for many companies.


The bill for many pharmaceutical and health producers are piling up as states look to seek justice for entities accused of fueling the opioid epidemic.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)— “In 2017, there were more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in the U.S.–an age-adjusted rate of 21.7 per 100,000 persons. Among these, 47,600 involved opioids. The sharpest increase occurred among deaths involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (other synthetic narcotics) with more than 28,400 overdose deaths in 2017.”

Despite the prescription rate going down, overdoses have gone up. It has been hypothesized that the increased dependence on opioid prescription and led to fatal substitutes, such as heroin and fentanyl.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an opioid addiction, seek professional treatment.

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