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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “States, Companies Reach Landmark $26 Billion National Opioid Settlement” – below is their description.
A group of state attorneys general and the companies involved laid out key details of a landmark $26 billion settlement with large drug companies on Wednesday, a day after lawyers representing local governments nationwide said they were on the verge of settling.
The deal calls for the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to pay up to $5 billion, in addition to billions more from the major national drug distribution companies. AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health are each to contribute $6.4 billion. McKesson is to pay $7.9 billion.
States – except West Virginia, which has already settled with the companies – will have 30 days to approve the agreements. After that, local governments will have four months to sign on.
Each company will decide whether enough jurisdictions agree to the deal to move ahead with it.
“While the companies strongly dispute the allegations made in these lawsuits, they believe the proposed settlement agreement and settlement process it establishes … are important steps toward achieving broad resolution of governmental opioid claims and delivering meaningful relief to communities across the United States,” the distribution companies said in a statement.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said it would be the second-biggest cash settlement of its kind U.S. history behind the tobacco deal in the 1990s.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said the opioid agreement requires state and local governments to use the vast majority of the money on abatement – and that will be subject to a court order. Stein said there’s a strong will to comply because of the devastation from opioids.
“We all are experiencing the consequences in communities across North Carolina, across the country,” Stein said at a video news conference Wednesday.
The deal would be part of the ongoing effort to address the nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis.
Prescription drugs and illegal ones like heroin and illicitly produced fentanyl have been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. The number of cases reached a record high in 2020.
If approved, the settlement will likely be the largest of many in the opioid litigation playing out nationwide.
It’s expected to bring more than $23 billion to abatement and mitigation efforts to help get treatment for people who are addicted along with other programs to address the crisis.
The money would come in 18 annual payments, with the biggest amounts in the next several years.Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
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