We’re One Step Closer to Bringing Billions of Dollars to California to Fight the Opioid Epidemic – YubaNet

OAKLAND, January 26, 2022 – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today marked an important milestone in the work to bring much-needed help to people across California and the nation struggling with opioid addiction. The Attorney General announced that over 90% of eligible California cities and counties have reached an historic $26 billion settlement with the country’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors — Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen — and Johnson & Johnson over the companies’ roles of creating and signing fueling the nationwide opioid crisis. This overwhelming support from local governments will help move California closer to its full share of the settlement.

“We are one step closer to providing much-needed assistance and resources to communities in California and across the country,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Whether it’s a family member, neighbor or friend, far too many of us know someone whose life has been turned upside down or tragically ended because of opioid addiction. Not only will this settlement hold Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen accountable for their roles in fueling the devastating opioid crisis, but it is expected to bring billions of dollars to California to help those struggling with addiction access the help they need to recover.”

Attorney General Bonta, along with the attorneys general of North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, negotiated the up to $26 billion settlement .

In California, more than 400 cities and counties — representing 97% of the state’s population — have joined the comparison.

Once the settlement is complete, claims will be settled by both state and local governments across the country, including the nearly 4,000 who have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts. The deal also requires significant changes in the industry that will help ensure this type of crisis never happens again.

The settlement follows investigations by attorneys general into whether the three distributors complied with their legal obligation to refuse to ship opioids to pharmacies that placed suspicious drug orders, and whether Johnson & Johnson was educating patients and physicians about the addictive nature of opioid drugs medication misled.

Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson have until February 25, 2022 to decide whether to proceed with the settlement. If all parties move forward, the first payments will be made by distributors in April and by Johnson & Johnson in July.

Alongside the settlement, Attorney General Bonta continues to fight to hold Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family accountable for their contribution to the ongoing opioid crisis. In December, a district court overturned a New York bankruptcy court’s certification of the company’s reorganization plan.

Today’s deal also follows a previously announced $573 million opioid deal with McKinsey & Company that will bring California over $59 million to fight opioids.

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