KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 – A high-profile legal battle is set to begin, after six drug companies that are accused in thousands of lawsuits over their role in the country’s opioid epidemic in the US, failed to reach a settlement with governments across the nation.
The six defendants include three distribution companies; AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation, a smaller distributor;Henry Schein Medical, a generic drugs company Teva Pharmaceuticals as well as pharmacy chain, Walgreens.
“Our goal when assessing settlement proposals is to provide local communities with adequate and urgently needed relief in the near term, and to ensure that these resources will be directed exclusively toward efforts to abate the opioid epidemic,” plaintiff attorneys Paul J. Hanly Jr., Paul T Farrell Jr and Joe Rice said in a joint statement, according to CNN.
“The facts will show that opioid makers and distributors conspired to create and benefit from the worst public health crisis in decades,” the statement read further.
CNN reported that talks between stakeholders went over 10 hours, involving the four distribution firms, chief executives, attorney-generals from Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, together with lawyers representing over 2,000 state, local and Native American tribal governments.
Earlier this week, five companies were said to have settled for potentially settling for $50 billion.
The companies proposed to pay a combined $18 billion over 18 years.