At least six US states, including Georgia, did not fully sign on to a proposed $26 billion settlement with three drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson, which have been accused of fueling the nation's opioid epidemic, according to the states' attorneys general.
States had until Saturday to decide whether to support the $21 billion proposed settlement with McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Cardinal Health Inc and a separate $5 billion agreement with J&J.
But in a sign that talks were continuing despite the passing of the deadline, Georgia - the most populous hold-out state - on Monday indicated it could wind up backing the agreement.
"We have not rejected the deal, but we have not joined because at the present time joining the national settlements does not guarantee the best outcome for Georgia and its counties, cities and citizens," said an emailed statement from the office of the attorney general, Christopher Carr. "We remain active in representing Georgia throughout negotiations, and we're going to continue to get input from Georgia stakeholders."
The state will litigate its claims if needed, the statement said.