Johnson & Johnson, Drug Distributors Settle to Pay $26B for Roles in Opioid Crisis

Big pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors are largely to blame for fueling the opioid epidemic in the US, killing more people than most major wars—which is why they were served one of the largest packages of class action lawsuits in history.

Three of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers and Johnson & Johnson reached a $26 billion deal to settle a chorus of around 3,000 lawsuits from state governments, city governments and even tribal organizations, accusing the companies of fomenting the opioid crisis. 

Why? Because the number of synthetic opioid deaths has sailed far beyond the total number of drug overdose death tolls from heroin, methamphetamine and other street drugs, according to multiple agencies that report to the federal government—and frankly, people are sick of it.

The drug makers and distributors are accused of downplaying the risk of addiction to opioids—while simultaneously encouraging doctors with perks to overprescribe pills to people who didn’t need it, in some cases.

Drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson joined Johnson & Johnson to agreed to pay a combined amount of $26 billion to settle allegations that they fueled the country’s opioid crisis, and should be held accountable.

The $26 billion settlement, announced by a group of state attorneys general, varies

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