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Drug Firms Offer $5B to Settle Opioid Suits

Five drugmakers and distributors are offering $22 billion in cash as well as drugs and services they value at $28 billion to resolve lawsuits alleging the industry helped fuel the U.S. opioid crisis, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The drug industry faces roughly 2,600 lawsuits brought by state and local governments, hospitals and other entities seeking to hold drugmakers and distributors responsible for the toll of opioid abuse. Local governments seek funds to cover costs of services in their communities.

Distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Cardinal Health have offered to pay $18 billion in cash over 18 years, while drug maker Johnson & Johnson would pay $4 billion in cash, two people familiar with the matter said.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has offered to give away medications it values at $15 billion as part of the deal and provide distribution services it values in the billions, one of the people said.

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