WASHINGTON, D.C. – Four companies (Amerisource-Bergen, Cardinal Health, Johnson & Johnson and McKesson) that agreed to pay a combined $26 billion to settle claims for their role in the opioid crisis are planning to deduct much of those costs from their taxes and recoup around $1 billion each. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“It is beyond outrageous for the drug makers and distributors to take a tax deduction for their settlement of city and county claims relating to the drug companies’ alleged role in creating and worsening the opioid addiction epidemic. The drug companies are settling with taxpayers (local government entities) and then demanding that taxpayers pay part of the cost (via a federal tax subsidy).
“Making this scheme even more infuriating is that the opioid manufacturer and distributor companies are preparing to claim billions in tax subsidies via a COVID-19 relief provision.
“In other words, while tens of millions of Americans are experiencing extreme economic hardship and dealing with intermittent and often inadequate governmental support for unemployment, food, housing and small business continuity, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource-Bergen are laughing all the way to bank.”