Distributors Announce Settlement With Cherokee Nation
AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC), Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) and McKesson (NYSE: MCK) announced today that they have reached an agreement with the Cherokee Nation to pay approximately $75 million over 6.5 years to resolve opioid-related claims. This settlement was negotiated in connection with ongoing negotiations toward a broad resolution of opioid-related claims brought by Native American tribes that, as previously disclosed by the companies, are not covered by the ongoing settlement process involving state and local governmental entities. The companies view today’s settlement as an important step toward reaching a broader settlement with all federally recognized Native American tribes across the country.
This settlement reflects an agreement of the Cherokee Nation to dismiss its ongoing lawsuit in exchange for the companies’ agreement that the Cherokee Nation will receive a settlement amount consistent with its anticipated allocation under a broader agreement with Native American tribes.
While the companies strongly dispute the allegations against them, they believe this resolution will allow the companies to focus their attention and resources on the safe and secure delivery of medications and therapies while delivering meaningful relief to affected communities, and will also support efforts to achieve a broad resolution with the remaining Native American tribes.
The companies remain deeply concerned about the impact the opioid epidemic is having on communities across the nation and remain committed to being part of the solution.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Statements
The preceding descriptions of a potential resolution of certain opioids-related claims of Native American tribes against pharmaceutical distribution companies constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in those statements. It is not possible to identify all such risks and uncertainties. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are first made. Except to the extent required by law, the companies undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements. Risk factors include, but are not limited to: the settlement process may not result in a resolution of all or any claims against each company regarding its role in distributing opioids; the companies may continue to experience costly and disruptive legal disputes and settlements related to distribution of controlled substances, including opioids; the companies might experience losses not covered by insurance; and the companies might be adversely impacted by changes in tax legislation or challenges to their respective tax positions. Investors should read the important risk factors described in each company’s Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.