Cardinal Health, McKesson facing hundreds of opioid lawsuits

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Settlement talks for about 300 opioid lawsuits against Cardinal Health are ongoing, according to local reports.

Cardinal Health said in a quarterly report this month there were 343 lawsuits against it in 36 jurisdictions. Around 40 more have been filed in federal courts, the Columbus Business Journal reported this week.

Cardinal Health isn't alone: Amerisource reported it had a “significant number of lawsuits,” while McKesson Corp. said it had 192 cases pending as of Dec. 31.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, is facing hundreds of lawsuits, including civil filings saying the company “understated the risks of opioid use” through 2016. Additionally, it has been sued by more than 400 cities and states that say Purdue wasn't forthcoming about OxyContin's risks, leading to a public health crisis.

Alabama announced its lawsuit last week, saying the state is seeing hundreds of deaths each year due to opioid overdoses.

“It will take years to undo the damage but an important first step we must take is to hold the parties responsible for this epidemic legally liable for the destruction they have unleashed upon our citizens,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement.