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Three Drug Distributors To Pay Up To $1.18 Bln To Settle New York Opioid Claims

AmerisourceBergen (ABC), Cardinal Health (CAH) and McKesson (MCK) agreed to pay up to $1.179 billion in a settlement with the State of New York and its participating subdivisions, including Nassau and Suffolk Counties, to settle opioid-related claims.

The agreement calls for the three major drug distributors to pay the combined settlement amount over the next 17 years, with payments beginning in two months, according to the New York state Attorney General's Office.

The New York Attorney General Letitia James reached a $230 million settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson late last month, removing the company from the ongoing opioid trial. Johnson & Johnson agreed to stop selling opioids nationwide.

New York AG said that the trial against the three remaining defendants — Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, and Allergan Finance — is currently underway and will continue in state court.

The opioid crisis refers to the extensive overuse of opioid medications, both from medical prescriptions and from illegal sources. The crisis began in the United States in the late 1990s, when opioids were increasingly prescribed for pain management and resulted in a rise in overall opioid use throughout subsequent years.

From 1999 to 2017, more than 399,000 people reportedly died from drug overdoses that involved prescription and illicit opioids.

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