US opioid crisis: Native American tribes to receive up to $665 million in settlement with major drug companies
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A group of pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson (J&J), will pay up to $665 million in settlement of lawsuits connected to opioid addiction among Native American tribes, the Washington Examiner reports. The companies had already agreed to a $26 billion global settlement, and part of the money for the tribe will come from that settlement.
Tuesday’s settlement agreed by J&J, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health represents the latest of its kind in the midst of a US opioid crisis that has killed over 500,000 people in the last 20 years, i24News said.
The agreement is separate from last year’s settlement of $75 million paid by three of the companies to the Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma.
In a statement in the court filing, the Plaintiffs’ Tribal Leadership Committee said Native Americans have “suffered some of the worst consequences of the opioid epidemic of any population in the US,” i24 News reports.
“The burden of paying these increased costs has diverted scarce funds from other needs and has imposed severe financial burdens on the Tribal Plaintiffs,” the filing statement added.
In a separate statement about Tuesday’s agreement, Johnson & Johnson attested: “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.”
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