Sumary of US state officials urge support for landmark $26bn opioid settlement:
- A group of state attorneys general unveiled on Wednesday a landmark $26 billion (€22bn) settlement with large drug companies for allegedly fueling the deadly nationwide opioid epidemic, but the deal still requires support from thousands of local governments.
- “There’s not enough money in the world, frankly, to address the pain and suffering,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, but added that the money will “help where help is needed.
- ” The deal represents the second-largest cash settlement ever, trailing only the $246 billion tobacco agreement in 1998. Attorneys general from 15 states were involved in negotiating the deal, as were lead lawyers for local governments.
- Around $2.2 billion of the total would cover attorneys fees and legal costs.
- “This settlement will directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis,” said Michael Ullmann, Johnson &
- The distributors were accused of lax controls that allowed massive amounts of addictive painkillers to be diverted into illegal channels, devastating communities, while J&J was accused of downplaying the addiction risk in its opioid marketing.
- In a joint statement, the distributors called the settlement an important step “toward achieving broad resolution of governmental opioid claims and delivering meaningful relief to communities across the United States.
- Other settlements are also being negotiated, with the opioid makers Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt Plc working through the bankruptcy courts to secure support for settlements worth more than $10 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively.