MARK GILLISPIE and GEOFF MULVIHILL
CLEVELAND (AP) — Efforts to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the nation's opioid epidemic intensified Wednesday ahead of the scheduled start of arguments in the first federal trial over the crisis.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that three major drug distributors plus two manufacturers were working on the outlines of a settlement.
It would include $22 billion in cash over time plus up to $15 billion worth of overdose antidotes and treatment drugs, with distribution of those drugs valued at another $14 billion — a calculation of how much a distributor could charge for them.
Under the proposal, the distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson would pay a total of $18 bi