- Opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen,Cardinal Health, and McKesson all soared in early Wednesday trading after The Wall Street Journal reported the three firms are eyeing a settlement for state and local lawsuits blaming them for the drug crisis.
- The settlement plans involve the three companies collectively paying $US18 billion over 18 years.
- AmerisourceBergen and McKesson traded roughly 7% higher early Wednesday, and Cardinal Health jumped as much as 8%.
- Watch AmerisourceBergen trade live here.
- Watch McKesson trade live here.
- Watch Cardinal Health trade live here.
Opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen,Cardinal Health, and McKesson all surged in early Wednesday trading after The Wall Street Journal reported the companies are in talks to settle state and local lawsuits blaming them for the US drug epidemic.
AmerisourceBergen and McKesson traded roughly 7% higher early Wednesday. Cardinal Health traded as much as 8% higher.
The three companies are looking to settle the litigation with a collective $US18 billion payment over 18 years, sources told WSJ. The settlement would serve as a sweeping resolution to a collection of lawsuits and keep the drugmakers from bankruptcy.
OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma was forced to file for bankruptcy in mid-September to pay a settlement valued between $US10 billion and $US12 billion.
The news follows Johnson & Johnson settling two Ohio opioid lawsuits for $US20.4 million on October 1. The deal allows the pharmaceutical giant to skip an upcoming federal trial looking to hold health care firms accountable for the epidemic.
AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson are all scheduled to join the federal trial in Ohio Monday. The case is set to serve as a critical precedent in other lawsuits against opioid producers and distributors.
Opioids contributed to more than 400,000 overdose fatalities in the US from 1999 to 2017, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2017 alone, with 68% of the fatalities involving prescription or illicit opioids.
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