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Opioid distributors offer $10 billion settlement

A building that reads "McKesson Corporate Headquarters"
McKesson's old headquarters in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The 3 major prescription drug distributors — AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — have proposed paying a combined $10 billion to settle the national lawsuit alleging they fueled the opioid crisis through negligent shipping and monitoring of painkillers, Bloomberg reports. States countered with $45 billion.

Why it matters: This is the first look into what the health care industry is willing to pay to make this lawsuit go away. Drug wholesalers operate large cash flows, making a settlement of this size rather manageable for them, but it'd still be a hit to shareholders' pockets because the companies run on low net profit margins.