CLEVELAND, OH. – The manufacturer of generic opioids Mallinckrodt has settled the lawsuit pending against it by two counties in the state of Ohio related to the national opioid epidemic. In agreeing to the settlement, the company will avoid taking part in a federal trial in Ohio related to drug maker liability in the epidemic.
Mallinckrodt, which is based in the U.K., settled a case with Summit County, Ohio, and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, agreeing to pay out $24 million and to make donations amounting to about $6 million. The company said that this settlement would allow it the time to iron out a potential settlement for all the opioid lawsuits its facing currently. Mallinckrodt is a defendant in multiple lawsuits brought by state and local governments, alleging loss of resources and productivity, among other damages, due to the opioid crisis.
Mallinckrodt manufactured generic oxycodone in 30 mg pills and became one of the largest sellers of the drug in the U.S. during the early 2000s. The lawsuits pending against it claim that it knew orders it was fulfilling for the drug were suspect.
With a federal trial scheduled to start in October in Cleveland, Ohio, several manufacturer defendants have been working toward similar settlements. The settlement involving Mallinckrodt is the third to reach agreement in a few weeks. Allergan and Endo also settled the claims against them for $5 million and $10 million, respectively. Purdue Pharma, which manufactured OxyContin, is also reportedly working on a global settlement.
Since 2000, more than 400,000 people in the United States have died because of prescription opioids or illegal opioids, like heroin. Deaths from opioids have now surpassed deaths from automobile accidents in the country, and millions of Americans are struggling with addiction and dependency.
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