WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (Reuters / EP) –
A federal judge of the United States has summoned this Thursday to declare the executive directors of three large pharmaceutical distributors and a pharmaceutical company for their alleged participation in the opioid crisis that has hit the country.
The order issued by the district judge Dan Polster of Cleveland, Ohio, has taken place after thousands of lawsuits were filed against the distributed McKesson, Cardinal Heatlh, AmerisourceBergen and the pharmaceutical company Teva. The defendants try to reach an agreement for the trial, which will begin on Monday.
The companies, together with Johnson Johnson, have been negotiating an agreement of 50,000 million dollars that would allow them to resolve the 2,600 lawsuits imposed against them throughout the country, especially by states and localities, sources close to the matter have explained .
Polster, meanwhile, hopes to reach an agreement that “can do something significant to alleviate the crisis.” The companies have been discussing the possible agreement with prosecutors from four states.
At least 400,000 people died between 1999 and 2007 in the context of the opioid crisis in the United States, according to data from the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The plaintiffs accuse manufacturers of deceptively marketing opioids in a way that minimizes their risks and pharmaceutical distributors fail when it comes to detecting and stopping suspicious orders. They all deny any kind of involvement.