Oct 2, 2019

Johnson & Johnson settles with Ohio counties ahead of opioid trial

The Johnson & Johnson campus on August 28, 2019. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that it has reached a $20.4 million settlement with 2 Ohio counties ahead of a massive opioid trial, under what the Washington Post describes as a "tentative" deal.

The big picture: These Ohio counties — Cuyahoga and Summit County — were set to be one of the first cases to go to trial from lawsuits brought by over 2,500 counties, cities, Native American tribes and others against nearly 2 dozen pharmacies, drug manufacturers, and distributors for their role in the U.S. opioid epidemic, the Post reports.

Details: Johnson & Johnson said it has agreed to pay the Ohio counties a combined $10 million, in addition to reimbursing the counties $5 million for legal and trial expenses and directing $5.4 million in charitable contributions to non-profits "in connection with opioid-related programs" in both counties.

What's next: If this settlement is finalized, there would be 6 defendants scheduled to stand trial in October for their alleged role in the opioids epidemic, the Post reports.

Go deeper: Podcast: Johnson & Johnson's landmark opioids verdict

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Major drug companies reach $260 million settlement in federal opioid trial

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Drug distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, an Israeli-based manufacturer of generic drugs, reached a $260 million settlement on Monday to avoid the first federal opioid trial that was set to begin in Cleveland, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: People familiar with the discussions told the New York Times that a broader settlement to resolve thousands of cases brought by local governments and states could be announced later in the day.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

The opioids legal battles rage on

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The federal opioids litigation took a step closer to resolution yesterday when major drug companies settled with 2 Ohio counties just before a trial was scheduled to begin.

Yes, but: States, municipalities and the companies being sued are still hashing out a global resolution to the thousands of lawsuits pending across the country.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019

3 major drug distributors discussing $18 billion opioids settlement

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three major drug distributors — McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health — are discussing an $18 billion settlement to resolve opioid litigation brought by state and local governments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: The distributors, along with drug manufacturers and pharmacies, have been accused of contributing to the country's opioid epidemic through aggressive marketing and inadequate distribution oversight.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019