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Drugmakers Said to Balk Now at Multibillion Dollar Opioid Accord

May 3, 2018, 12:56 PM

Drug companies are in no rush to finance a solution to the opioid epidemic.

Companies including Johnson & Johnson and McKesson Corp. are preparing to take their chances in court rather than pay billions of dollars to settle lawsuits blaming them for addictions that claim the lives of more than 100 Americans daily, according to six people familiar with settlement talks.

With the first trial just 10 months away, the companies are counting on narrowing or defeating lawsuits by 17 states and hundreds of counties and cities, which would slash or eliminate their settlement costs. But if the defenses fail, ...