Opioid distributors reach $518M settlement with Washington state News
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Opioid distributors reach $518M settlement with Washington state

Three opioid distributors Tuesday announced a $518 million settlement with Washington state. AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson settled following a lawsuit regarding the companies’ alleged role in fueling Washington’s opioid epidemic. Washington agreed to dismiss the current lawsuit upon the settlement becoming effective.

McKesson’s statement reads:

While the companies strongly dispute the allegations made in the plaintiffs’ complaints and during trial, they believe that resolving all of the litigation filed by the State of Washington and its political subdivisions will further the companies’ goal of achieving broad resolution of governmental opioid claims while delivering meaningful relief to communities across the United States that have been impacted by the opioid epidemic.

Washington accused the companies of “failing to alert law enforcement when they received suspicious opioid orders, and shipping those orders with little or no investigation, significantly contributing to the supply of opioids and fueling the state’s opioid epidemic.” In the initial lawsuit, Washington sought various civil and monetary penalties as compensation.

The CDC reports that “[n]early 500,000 people died from overdoses involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids, from 1999-2019.”