Four drugs companies have reached a $260m deal with two Ohio counties over their role in fuelling the US opioid crisis, reports BBC News. The agreement averts a trial that had been scheduled to start in Cleveland. The counties had been seeking billions from Israel-based drugmaker Teva and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.
A trial for Walgreens Boots Alliance, which had also been accused, will be rescheduled.
The report says the last-minute deal was announced by the judge overseeing the trial in Cleveland. Talks over a bigger settlement, which would have resolved claims brought by thousands of other cities, counties and states, had collapsed on Friday.
The report says the companies, which have denied wrongdoing, are accused of ignoring suspicious orders and downplaying the risks of opioid painkillers, which have been linked to about 400,000 overdose deaths in the US between 1997 and 2017. In the latest deal, they did not admit guilt. But McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Corp agreed to pay $215m, while Teva is paying $20m and will contribute $25m worth of treatment medication.BBC News report