'Doesn’t even put a dent': Why Philadelphia is not expected to accept opioid settlement

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with his counterparts in five other states, announced a settlement proposal with pharmaceutical companies that make opioids and marketed them as safe and non-addictive.

However, Philadelphia is unlikely to go along with the terms.

Attorneys general from 26 states are urging support for a settlement with the three largest opioid makers for $26 billion to compensate for the loss of life and societal havoc that addiction to the drugs has cost, but Mayor Jim Kenney said that is not nearly enough.

"These drug companies have made billions and billions of dollars off of people’s misery," Kenney said.

"We’re winding up with potentially $2 million or $3 million a year for 18 years. That doesn’t even put a dent in the problems that these substances have cost, and all the people that it’s killed. I mean, they should be in jail."

Kenney said the companies made the drugs and promoted that they were safe.

"(They) told doctors that they were safe so doctors prescribed them, and now we have people laying on the street in Kensington and around the city because of their greed. I don’t want to let them off the hook that easy."

The city filed a lawsuit against the companies for the damage the opioid epidemic has done to Philadelphia in terms of public health, public safety, and quality of life.

It has 120 days to decide if it will accept the settlement, which is intended to resolve all claims. At this point, Mayor Kenney said, it seems unlikely.

"It doesn’t look like it’s enough for what our needs are."

Philadelphia could continue to pursue its own lawsuit against the companies, one that was filed years ago.

District Attorney Larry Krasner has also filed suit against the companies, said he’s not pleased with the settlement, and may not go along with it either.