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McKesson Dangles $1 Billion Legal Fund to Boost Opioid Deal

  • With Cardinal and Amerisource, firm ups $18 billion settlement
  • The three would pay fees for government entities suing them

Photographer: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

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McKesson Corp. and two other opioid distributors have sweetened a settlement offer by proposing to pay more than $1 billion in legal fees for states, cities and counties suing them over their handling of the highly addictive painkillers, according to people familiar with the talks.

McKesson, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. say the proposal would free up money for treatment and other social services strained by the U.S. opioid crisis, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly.

Shares of the three companies rose by at least 1.5% after the news.