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Three of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers in the U.S. agreed to pay up to $1.1 billion to settle a lawsuit in which the state of New York claimed the companies contributed to the opioid crisis by failing to monitor suspicious shipments.

The deal – which involves AmerisourceBergen (ABC), Cardinal Health (CAH), and McKesson (MCK) – comes amid a trial that was already underway and as the companies also attempt to reach a deal to settle nationwide litigation brought by numerous states, cities, counties and Native American tribes. An agreement worth $21 billion is reportedly set to be announced this week.


The money will be used by the state and local governments to help compensate for the cost of the opioid crisis, which claimed nearly 500,000 lives over nearly two decades. The agreement also calls for a new process for collecting and analyzing data about opioid orders received by the other companies through a new clearinghouse to be run by an independent third-party monitor.

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