Attorneys general announce $26B settlement with opioid distributors
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Attorneys general announce $26B settlement with opioid distributors

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and other bipartisan attorneys general announced Wednesday that a proposed $26 billion settlement will resolve claims against several large opioid distributors. The distributors affected are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, as well as opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. New York will receive $1.25 billion, while Pennsylvania will receive $1 billion. According to James, “The numerous companies that manufactured and distributed opioids across the nation did so without regard to life or even the national crisis they were helping to fuel.”

Johnson & Johnson released a statement that announced that it will contribute up to $5 billion of the settlement, depending on how many governments join the agreement. The Executive Vice President of Johnson & Johnson, Michael Ullmann, stated, “We recognize the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue, and we have deep sympathy for everyone affected. This settlement will directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis in the United States.” However, the company maintains that its advertisement of opioid medications was “appropriate and responsible.”

Shapiro stated, “No amount of money, no number of sanctions, will be able to right these wrongs. But this settlement puts in place controls that will go a long way to make sure that this never happens again.”