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U.S. Drug distributors propose $10 billion to end state lawsuits over opioids: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO: Pharmaceutical tablets and capsules are arranged on a table in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Pharmaceutical tablets and capsules are arranged on a table in this picture illustration

(Reuters) - Drug wholesalers AmerisourceBergen Corp <ABC.N>, McKesson Corp <MCK.N> and Cardinal Health Inc <CAH.N> have proposed a $10 billion settlement for claims that they played a part in the U.S. opioid epidemic, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with negotiations.

Hundreds of lawsuits by states and cities have been filed nationally accusing drugmakers of deceptively marketing opioids and distributors such as AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp of ignoring suspicious orders.

Shares of AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health were down about 5%.

The National Association of Attorneys General, negotiating on behalf of more than 35 states, countered with a demand for $45 billion to cover costs, according to the Bloomberg report.

"We regularly engage with the state attorneys general, but the company has made no settlement offers," McKesson said in a statement.

Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.


(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)