Opioid settlement still elusive as some lawyers criticize it

(AP) - Lawyers for some state and local governments say the deal being offered by companies in a sweeping national settlement over the toll of opioids isn’t enough.

In this Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, Patrick Morrisey speaks to reporters after a debate in Morgantown, W.Va.. In a statement Friday, Morrisey, the attorney general in West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, said the $22 billion in cash being offered by distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plus drugmaker Johnson & Johnson 'is way too low.' (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson, File)

Four months after a handful of states agreed to a structure for a deal, it’s proving to be a tough sell to their counterparts across the country.

A group of lawyers for local governments says the offer is inadequate even after a group of companies led by the nation’s three largest drug distributors have increased their proposed contributions.

Twenty-one state attorneys general signed a letter last week saying they opposed the current $18 billion deal, saying it’s not enough, Business Insider reported.

North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee helped create the deal being rejected by the other states.

Pressure is mounting to reach a nationwide deal with a trial scheduled to start in New York next month.

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