In an earnings call last week, pharmaceutical giant McKesson Corp. said it expects to spend $150 million in 2021 on defending itself from opioid lawsuits, up from $100 million this year, Axios reports.
McKesson is the sixth largest company in terms of revenue in the country, and the $150 million is a drop in the bucket relative to its $214 billion in revenue last year, but the lawsuits are adding up, with cases in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and New York in process or recently settled. States and cities are accusing many of the major drug players of knowingly sending inordinate amount of drugs into certain areas, knowing that they were being abused purely based on the numbers of pills sent to certain populations.
The FDA has also sent the company a warning letter about their opioid distribution. The letter says the drug distributor didn’t respond to notifications from pharmacies that drugs were tampered with, including oxycodone being replaced by “illegitimate” medications.
“We are also mindful of the ongoing epidemic of drug abuse in our nation, which includes the abuse of prescription drugs. Over the past decade, as the opioid epidemic evolved, we enhanced our teams, processes, and technologies dedicated to preventing diversion of prescription medications,” McKesson said in a response to the warning letter.