Portugal Colonial - Pharma groups to pay $590 mn to US Native Americans over opioids

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Pharma groups to pay $590 mn to US Native Americans over opioids
Pharma groups to pay $590 mn to US Native Americans over opioids

Pharma groups to pay $590 mn to US Native Americans over opioids

A group of pharmaceutical companies and distributors agreed to pay $590 million to settle lawsuits connected to opioid addiction among US Native American tribes, according to a US court filing Tuesday.

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The companies include Johnson & Johnson and McKesson, according to a filing by the plaintiff's committee in US District Court in Ohio.

The settlement is separate from a prior agreement that resulted in $75 million in payments to the Cherokee Nation from three of the companies.

The agreement is the latest in the wake of the US opioid crisis, which has claimed more than 500,000 lives over the last 20 years and spawned a deluge of litigation.

Native Americans have "suffered some of the worst consequences of the opioid epidemic of any population in the United States," according to the filing from the Plaintiffs' Tribal Leadership Committee, which cites per-capita death rates compared with other ethnic groups.

"The burden of paying these increased costs has diverted scarce funds from other needs and has imposed severe financial burdens on the Tribal Plaintiffs."

Johnson & Johnson, McKesson and the other two companies in the accord -- AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health -- have previously agreed to a $26 billion global settlement on opioid cases.

J&J said Tuesday the $150 million it agreed in the Native American settlement has been deducted from what it owes in the global settlement.

"The dollar amount to be received by the Tribes has been deducted from the all-in settlement amount," the company said.

"This settlement is not an admission of any liability or wrongdoing and the Company will continue to defend against any litigation that the final agreement does not resolve."

F.Cardoso--PC