Drugs firms reach $260m opioid settlement

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Four drugs companies have reached a $260m (£200m) deal over their role in fuelling the US opioid crisis.

The agreement means that a nine-week trial, which had been scheduled to start in Cleveland, has been avoided.

It settles accusations by two counties against Israel-based drugmaker Teva and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.

A trial for Walgreens Boots Alliance, which had also been accused, will be rescheduled.

The last-minute deal with Summit and Cuyahoga counties was announced on Monday by the judge overseeing the trial in Ohio. It had been closely watched as the first of thousands of similar cases to go forward.

Talks over a bigger settlement, which would have covered claims brought by thousands of other cities, counties and states, had collapsed on Friday.

The companies, which have denied wrongdoing, are accused of ignoring suspicious orders and downplaying the risks of opioids, which have been linked to about 400,000 overdose deaths in the US between 1997 and 2017.


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