Opioid Maker Allergan Settles With Two Ohio Counties

A bottle of the opioid painkiller oxycodone. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(CN) – Opioid manufacturer Allergan announced a settlement on Friday in advance of an October trial over the impact of the drug epidemic on America’s cities and counties.

The Irish company announced that it would pay $3.1 million to Cuyahoga County and $1.9 million to Summit County to settle claims relating to the Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, areas.

The company believes that settling with these plaintiffs is in its interest in light of anticipated time and defense costs for this first multi-defendant bellwether trial in the federal multidistrict litigation,” Allergan stated in a press release.

The pharmaceutical firm noted that it is seeking indemnification from other parties regarding one of its products that is involved in the case.

Allergan, one of several defendants in the case, said that it has not promoted or marketed opioid products since 2013.

“Allergan recognizes the seriousness of the opioid abuse problem,” the company said. “Allergan has a history of supporting and continues to support the safe, responsible use of prescription medications.

In light of the settlement, Federal Judge Dan Polster severed Allergan and its subsidiaries from separate lawsuits that were filed by the cities of Cleveland and Akron, which are pending along with thousands of other cases filed by cities and counties across the country. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asked the Sixth Circuit Friday to stop or delay the trial, which is scheduled to begin in Cleveland on Oct. 21.

He argued that Ohio’s other 86 counties would not be represented in the trial, and that only the state can speak on its citizens’ behalf.

The rest of Ohio – and Ohio itself – is being left behind in the MDL lawsuit in Cleveland,” Yost stated. “The hardest-hit counties of Appalachia and the vast majority of the state are being asked to take a number and wait – and that wait could delay or prevent justice.”

Earlier this week, NBC News reported that OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma has offered a settlement in the range of $10 billion to $12 billion.

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