Ohio Closes in on Its $808 Million Opioid Settlement
A proposed $800 million-plus settlement between opioid companies and state and local governments in Ohio has cleared another hurdle, as enough local officials have signed on that the deal won’t be rejected out of hand, Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday.
However, “while the numbers look good for a settlement,” Yost spokesman Lucas Sullivan said, the proposed settlement still needs final approval from the companies: drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Columbus-based Cardinal Health. The proposed deal for Ohio is part of a larger $21 billion nationwide settlement related to the companies’ role in the opioid epidemic.
Last Friday, Yost said in rather blunt language that the proposed settlement would fall through unless officials representing at least 95% of the population of 143 local governments involved in the litigation agreed to it. At that time, that number stood at 86%. “Right now, we’re at a point of ‘deal or no deal,’” Yost said Friday, warning that without the settlement, local officials would end up “picking over last year’s carcass for a few gleanings in bankruptcy court.”