Virginia could receive $530M from $26B opioids settlement
Deal with drug distributors, Johnson & Johnson announced by states attorneys general
Virginia is expected to receive about $530 million as part of a $26 billion settlement that the nation’s three primary drug distributors and pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson reached Wednesday with the states that would release the companies from legal liability in the opioid crisis.
A majority of the roughly $530 million that Virginia is expected to receive will go to the state’s Opioid Abatement Authority, according to a news release from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Created by the Virginia General Assembly this year, the authority will provide grants and loans to state agencies and localities to treat, prevent and reduce opioids abuse.
The deal was announced Wednesday by a bipartisan group of attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
McKesson Corp., AmeriSourceBergen and Cardinal would pay up to $21 billion over 18 years to participating states and localities, including Virginia, which is expected to receive up to $427 million from the drug distributors. The three distributors would also establish an independent clearinghouse to track and monitor the number of opioids that distributors send to health care providers and localities.
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson would pay up to $5 billion over nine years, paying up to $3.7 billion in the first three years. Virginia is expected to receive up to about $100 million from Johnson & Johnson, according to the attorney general’s release.
“The roots of the opioid crisis began in the marketing offices and board rooms of pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson and ran straight into the homes and medicine cabinets of Virginians. Distributors like McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal spread billions of doses of highly addictive opioids throughout our communities, helping to fuel a crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and upended the lives of Virginians in every corner of our commonwealth,” Herring said in a statement.
States have 30 days to review the deal. If participating state and city governments accept the offer, the companies will release the funds and the governments would drop any lawsuits against the companies and pledge not to bring future action, The New York Times reported Wednesday.