Opioid epidemic

Endo and Allergan discussing opioid settlement to avoid trial

OxyContin 80 mg pills spilling out of a prescription bottle
Photo: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Two drug companies — Endo and Allergan — are in discussions about a settlement that would allow them to avoid participating in a massive opioids trial set to occur this fall, the Wall Street Journal reports. Endo is working on a $10 million deal, while Allergan is negotiating a $5 million deal that may not completely remove it from the trial.

Why it matters: These 2 companies are relatively minor players in the trial, especially compared to drugmakers like Purdue Pharma and Johnson and Johnson. But this would still be a significant development, especially if other drug companies end up following Endo and Allergan's lead to avoid going to trial.

Go deeper: A proposal to bring all local governments into opioids settlement

Wall Street's fear of an opioids settlement

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

The stock prices of AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plummeted yesterday after Bloomberg reported the drug distributors made an opening offer of $10 billion to settle their portion of the national opioids lawsuit.

Between the lines: That figure was a lot higher than Wall Street had expected for those companies, indicating that other defendants — including opioid manufacturers — likely would pay tens of billions of dollars to avoid going to trial.