The New York Attorney General announced that the “Johnson & Johnson” lab and the three major U.S. drug distributors agreed to pay $ 26 billion to resolve thousands of complaints accusing him of fueling the US drug crisis. opioid drugs in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $ 5 billion in 9 years, while distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen agreed to pay $ 21 billion in 18 years, hoping to resolve nearly 4,000 lawsuits.
The prosecutor said the money was part of a “historic” friendly settlement proposal.
The implementation of the agreement, which would fund the treatments required by this plague, will depend on the number of US states that accept it. On Wednesday, New York and 6 other states announced their acceptance.
If it did occur, the deal would be the most important legal battle for states and local authorities have struggled to fine companies accused of producing, promoting or turning a blind eye to opioid abuse.
The opioid crisis caused by the acute promotion and over-prescription of addictive painkillers such as oxycodone in the 1990s has caused more than 500,000 overdose deaths in the United States over the past 20 years.
The crisis created a large market for illegal opioid drugs such as “fentanyl,” which led to a significant increase in the number of overdoses.
Following an improvement before the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the number of fatal overdoses increased again in 2020 and more than 93,000 people died, mostly from opioid drugs.
Johnson & Johnson announced a friendly deal with New York State in late June alone to pay the state $ 230 million after it stopped producing and selling opioid drugs.
Lawsuits have been filed against other labs unrelated to the deal announced Wednesday.
In addition, Wednesday’s deal does not include major U.S. drugstore chains, meaning lawsuits against them remain ongoing.
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