BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A $26 billion agreement was reached with three major pharmaceutical distributors and a company that manufactured and marketed opioids, according to an announcement from Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson were involved in the agreement.
“Today is a great day in our fight to hold accountable those who have stoked the fire of the opioid crisis,” said AG Landry.
Other states involved with the lawsuit were: North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
“Thousands of our neighbors have buried their loved ones throughout the opioid epidemic, and countless other families in Louisiana remain devastated by the crisis,” continued Attorney General Landry. “They deserve our State’s commitment to treating the addicted and protecting the public from this horrific plague; and I am proud to have delivered this great agreement to them.”
The agreement includes resolving claims throughout the nation — nearly 4,000 have been filed, according to a news release from the AG’s office. States have 30 days to sign onto the deal while local governments will have 150 days. If state and local governments partner together, then they will receive maximum payments.
Over $325 million is expected for the state of Louisiana, according to AG Landry.
“It is our objective that every nickel of this settlement goes to treating those in need – mitigating the damage done to our citizens,” concluded AG Landry. “We will continue working with the legal representatives of the political subdivisions involved in this litigation to make this happen.”
- The three distributors collectively will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years.
- Johnson & Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over nine years with up to $3.7 billion paid during the first three years.
- The total funding distributed will be determined by the overall degree of participation by both litigating and non-litigating state and local governments.
- The substantial majority of the money is to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention.
- Each state’s share of the funding has been determined by agreement among the states using a formula that takes into account the population of the state and the impact of the crisis on the state – the number of overdose deaths, the number of residents with substance use disorder, and the number of opioids prescribed.
Injunctive Relief Overview:
- The 10-year agreement will result in court orders requiring Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen to:
- Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.
- Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.
- Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
- Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.
- Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
- Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.
- The 10-year agreement will result in court orders requiring Johnson & Johnson to:
- Stop selling opioids.
- Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
- Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
- Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.