For months Colorado has quietly been in talks for another multibillion-dollar opioid settlement |

For months Colorado has quietly been in talks for another multibillion-dollar opioid settlement

Unsorted prescription pills sit in a pharmacist's counting tray before they are bottled. According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado saw a modest decline in opioid-related deaths last year — from 573 in 2017 to 543 in 2018.
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For more than a year, Colorado has been locked in a high-profile legal battle with Purdue Pharma that has been recently bogged down amid a bankruptcy filing and disagreements over the size of a settlement.

In a separate case, however, the state could soon secure millions of dollars to fight the opioid crisis from five drug makers and distributors it hasn’t even sued. The money would come through a settlement in which the Colorado Attorney General’s Office has been quietly involved in for months. 

The state is part of the pending $48 billion agreement with Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Johnson & Johnson and Teva over their alleged role in the nationwide addiction epidemic, the attorney general’s office told The Colorado Sun this week. 

The settlement framework negotiated by attorneys general from New Jersey, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Texas became public just days ago, grabbing national headlines. It includes $22 billion in cash to be distributed over 18 years and $26 billion in medication-assisted treatment drugs, like buprenorphine, to be released over a decade. 

It’s not clear exactly how much Colorado would get under the proposed deal. That would be determined by a formula that hasn’t been finalized. Attorneys general and lawyers representing jurisdictions in all 50 states are expected to be involved. 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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