In the complex tangle of opioid lawsuits against drugmakers and distributors, one big number has emerged, Bloomberg reports.
The nation’s top three drug distributors—McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health—have verbally offered a $10 billion settlement with state attorneys general, according to the news service. AGs hit back with a much higher demand of $45 billion. Bloomberg cited three unnamed people familiar with the discussions in its reporting.
A McKesson representative told Bloomberg “we regularly engage with the state attorneys general, but the company has made no settlement offers.” The other companies declined to comment, the news service reports.
Drugmakers and distributors face thousands of lawsuits alleging pharma companies oversold the benefits and downplayed the risks of using opioids to treat chronic pain. Plaintiffs say distributors failed to monitor suspicious orders and flooded communities with millions of pills. Together, the conduct contributed to a national opioid epidemic, the plaintiffs say. Aside from thousands of lawsuits from cities and counties, state attorneys general are conducting their own probes and lawsuits.
Importantly, the offer was reportedly made in negotiations with state attorneys general. It isn’t clear whether cities and counties would join a potential deal struck by AGs, or whether they'd pursue their own damages.
Investors sent shares for the distributors down by about 6% Tuesday afternoon.
Aside from talks with AGs, plaintiffs in the lawsuits brought by cities and counties have proposed a novel “negotiating class” to help the sides reach a deal, but one expert told FiercePharma that idea isn’t helping. Perry Zinn Rowthorn, formerly a Connecticut deputy attorney general and now a partner at Shipman & Goodwin, argued that AGs are better suited to reach a deal. Then localities could join in, he said.
A federal judge in Cleveland signaled support for the “negotiating class” idea on Tuesday, Legal Newsline reports. The first trial in the multidistrict litigation is set for October, but defendants have asked for a delay, citing the complexity of the litigation.
Analysts have put forth a range of estimates into potential liabilities for drugmakers and distributors, with Wells Fargo's David Maris saying the issue could cost defendants up to $100 billion.
彭博( Bloomberg )报道称，在针对制药商和分销商的一系列复杂的阿片类药物类诉讼中，出现了大量案件。
据美国最大的三家药品分销商—— McKesson 、 AmericansourcesBergen 和 Cardinal Health ——已口头提出与州总检察长达成100亿美元和解。AGs 的需求大幅增加，达到450亿美元。彭博在报道中提到了三位知情人士。
重要的是，据报道，该提议是在与州总检察长谈判中提出的。目前还不清楚城市和县是否会加入 AGs 达成的潜在协议，或者是否会寻求自己的损害赔偿。
除了与 AGs 谈判之外，城市和县提起的诉讼中的原告还提出了一种新颖的“谈判课”，以帮助双方达成协议，但一位专家告诉 FiercePharma ，这种想法并没有帮助。Perry Zinn Rowthorn ，前康涅狄格州副总检察长，现为 Shipman & Goodwin 合伙人，认为 AGs 更适合达成交易。然后地方可以加入，他说。