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Mallinckrodt Will Pay $30 Million To Cuyahoga, Summit In Opioid Settlement

Powerful prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, are critical for severe pain management, but are carefully prescribed for fear of abuse and addiction. [Phil Lowe / shutterstock]
pills in a bottle

Drug maker Mallinckrodt has reached a $30 million settlement with two Northeast Ohio counties in a federal lawsuit over the opioid crisis.

Mallinckrodt has agreed in principle to pay $24 million in cash to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, plus $6 million in product, Cuyahoga County officials said Friday.

Cuyahoga and Summit counties will be the first of some 2,000 jurisdictions to take their federal court claims against the drug industry to trial in October. They accuse opioid makers and distributors of fueling the addiction crisis through aggressive marketing and by ignoring suspicious pill orders.

In a similar agreement in principle, Endo International and Allergan also settled with both counties in August. Endo International agreed to pay $10 million and make available to the two counties up to $1 million in two other medications. Endo would not admit wrongdoing or liability for the opioid crisis as part of the settlement. Details of the Allergan agreement were not disclosed.

The settlements do not resolve claims brought against the companies by numerous other local governments, nor would it remove the counties from a potential negotiating class in that litigation. Cuyahoga and Summit are still scheduled to try their claims against other drug companies in October — the first trial in the wide-ranging litigation. Cuyahoga and Summit would still receive their portion of any comprehensive settlement signed between companies and local governments, minus the amounts set in these separate settlement amount.

The trial against other drug companies is scheduled to begin Oct. 21.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.