Drug companies reach settlement with Ohio counties ahead of trial

DETROIT – Four major drug companies are settling with two Ohio counties that have been ravaged by the opioid crisis.

Just as opening statements were set to begin in a federal lawsuit, a settlement was reached between two municipalities and drug distributors and the manufacturer.

The four companies involved are: McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. They reached a settlement Monday morning with the two plaintiffs, Summit and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio.

"We have the problems now, people are suffering now. People are dying now. We have to deal with these issues now," Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said. "So, the fact we were able to get the money in a short time frame is very helpful and that is one of the motivations for, for settling this."

"At the end of the day this is about getting the resources to the people of our community that need help," Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said.

The trial was meant to help shape a broader settlement of about 2,600 lawsuits pending over the toll opioids have taken on communities across the country.

Teva declined to comment on the settlement, but the distributors released a joint statement Monday. In that statement, the companies strongly disputed the allegations made by the counties.

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