Factbox-Pharmacies, drug companies in litigation over role in U.S. opioid crisis

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Tablets of the opioid-based Hydrocodone at a pharmacy in Portsmouth

(Reuters) - A federal jury on Tuesday found that pharmacy chain operators CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Walmart Inc helped fuel an opioid epidemic in two Ohio counties, in the first trial the companies have faced over the U.S. drug crisis.

The following is a list of major companies that were alleged to have contributed to the crisis and the legal settlements or judgments involving those companies. The companies have denied the allegations.

DRUG DISTRIBUTORS

Cardinal Health Inc, AmerisourceBergen Corp and McKesson Corp

-Agreed in July to a proposed $21 billion settlement with U.S. state attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments to settle thousands of lawsuits. The settlement value could change as governments decline to join the deal take their cases to trial.

-Faced non-jury trials in West Virginia and Washington state over claims they fueled the epidemic. The companies are awaiting a decision by a federal judge in West Virginia. A trial in a lawsuit by the state of Washington is ongoing.

PHARMACY CHAINS

CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid Corp and Walmart Inc

-Agreed in July to pay a combined $26 million to settle claims by the New York counties of Suffolk and Nassau that they fueled an opioid addiction epidemic.

-CVS, Walgreens and Walmart found liable by federal jury in Ohio on Nov. 23 of helping fuel epidemic in two Ohio counties.

DRUG MANUFACTURERS

Purdue Pharma

-The company in September won bankruptcy court approval for a deal that Purdue has said is worth $10 billion to settle allegations it helped fuel the opioid crisis. Members of the Sackler family who owned Purdue have agreed to contribute around $4.3 billion to the plan.

-In November 2020, Purdue entered a guilty plea to three criminal counts for violating a federal anti-kickback law, defrauding the United States and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Johnson & Johnson

-Agreed in July to pay $5 billion in a settlement alongside drug distributors with states and local governments. The settlement value could change depending on participation.

-The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Nov. 9 overturned a $465 million judgment the state won following a 2019 trial.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

-Settled in October 2019 with Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit on the eve of a trial, agreeing to pay $20 million in cash and contribute $25 million of Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment, over three years.

-A California judge in November following a non-jury trial rejected claims by several large counties against Teva, J&J, Endo International PLC and AbbVie Inc.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston and Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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