At least six U.S. states do not fully agree with the medical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) proposal and three drug distributors to settle the opiate crisis for $26 billion.
That is what the attorney generals of several states have indicated. They hold the companies partly responsible for causing the opiate epidemic in the United States.
Opiates are heavy painkillers. Countless Americans are addicted to morphine-like drugs such as oxycodone and fentanyl. Since 1999, overuse of drugs has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S.
With their settlement proposal, the companies wanted to put an end to claims from a number of American states and local governments. Instead, J&J, most recently known for the corona vaccine of subsidiary Janssen from Leiden, would pay out 5 billion dollars over many years.
McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, which are responsible for supplying the majority of addictive drugs to U.S. pharmacies, would pay $21 billion.
The distributors were accused, among other things, of lax controls, which allowed huge quantities of addictive painkillers to be distributed through illegal channels as well. And J&J is said to have downplayed the risk of addiction too much in its marketing of the drugs.