More Local Governments Sign On Ohio's $808M Opioid Settlement

  • J&J To Pay $230M In NY Opioid Lawsuits Settlement

Attorney General Dave Yost informed that enough local officials of Ohio signed the proposed $800 million-plus settlement between opioid companies and state and local governments.

The settlement is fair enough as per the AG, but it requires final approval from the opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Columbus-based Cardinal Health, along with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The deal is a part of the nationwide settlement of $21 billion, which is to be paid by the drug distributors and manufacturers considering their role in the country's opioid epidemic.

As per the agreement, 95% of the 143 local governments are required to sign the agreement, but the number stood at 86% earlier, which made the settlement tricky. Currently, 135 local governments with a 96% population are supporting the settlement.

One of the officials from the municipalities stated that the delay in acknowledging the agreement was not intentional, but the limited time window for the approval was the main reason as some of the officials meet just once a month.

55% of the agreement amount will be given to the foundation that would conduct addiction treatment programs. 30% would be allotted to the local governments and 15% to the state.

The plaintiffs even allege that the drug manufacturers were aware of the risks associated with the opioid painkillers yet distributed them in the market.

J&J has agreed to stop manufacturing opioids and will pay $5 billion over nine years for fueling the opioid epidemic throughout the country.

Earlier, a settlement of up to $24.9 million is approved by the Lucas County commissioners in the statewide opioid lawsuits against the distributors and manufacturers.

Many municipalities across the state have joined the OneOhio plan that is focused on distributing funds to local jurisdictions from the National Prescription Opioid Litigation settlement, and Lucas County is one of them. The plan will ensure that each township and city within Lucas County will receive fair compensation. $809 million has been allotted to the state of Ohio from the national settlement of opioids.

AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson are the three major companies that will pay the amount of the settlement to the county. The attorney representing the county said that Lucas County is to receive between $4.5 million and $6.4 million to deal with opioid-related issues.

The amount will completely depend on the number of Ohio municipalities signing the agreement. The settlement is calculated considering the number of diagnosed opioid use disorders and deaths in the jurisdiction.

The attorney for the county even informed that a 29-member nonprofit foundation board of the county would vote to decide the best way to spend 55 percent of the settlement amount to address the opioid crisis.

The settlement would not bring the lost lives back, but it will surely help to control the further opioid crisis and deal with the currently affected users, said the attorney for the county. The board president of the nonprofit foundation said that the amount is huge, but splitting the settlement for 18 years is the best way to compensate the affected users, counties, and municipalities.

The attorney even informed that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is also a part of the national opioid litigation, but it is not liable for this portion of the settlement.

Earlier, Connecticut's attorney general has committed to getting $300 million for the state from the $26 billion opioid settlement offered by the pharmaceutical distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Attorney General William Tong wrote in a letter informing about how the settlement amount will fund strategies, initiatives and programs. It will help the states, victims and their families to overcome the opioid crisis.

Some advocates and politicians have objected to depositing the settlement amount in the state’s general fund. They showed concern considering the misuse of the millions of dollars received by the state every year in the 1998 Big Tobacco settlement for smoking prevention and cessation.

Connecticut will receive $300 million over the next 18 years, as per the agreement. The state will get $26 million for the initial three years, and a varied sum of amount will be allotted for the next fifteen years. Pharmaceutical distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, along with J&J, will pay the amount.

Municipalities and the state signing on the agreement will get 85% and 15% respectively from the settlement amount allotted to Connecticut. 70% of the allotted funds to the state will be used for controlling future crisis whereas 15% will be used for general abatement measures. The amount will also cover the attorney's fees.

Last year, opioid overdose claimed 1,400 lives in Connecticut and 93,000 lives throughout the nation.

J&J even face several lawsuits over its talcum powder products, with nationwide women alleging the company's baby powder of causing ovarian cancer. 12,00 women and their families have filed lawsuits against the company in the past 25 years with similar allegations of cancer-causing ingredients in the talc products.

Earlier, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas announced a deal with opioid manufacturers and distributors that requires the drugmakers to pay $216 million to Arkansas in the opioid MDL.

Three major pharmaceutical distributors, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, along with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J), will pay the settlement amount to Arkansas. The agreement will settle a number of opioid litigations faced by the companies and will also prevent the future opioid crisis.

The Attorney General said that opioid overdose has resulted in several deaths in Arkansas during the past decade. Many families from the state have lost their loved ones because of the opioid crisis. The settlement will not bring back the lost lives, but it will surely help to prevent opioid addiction problems among the people of Arkansas. The settlement amount will be used to educate and treat people suffering from opioid addiction problems.

Nearly 4000 opioid lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts across the country, and the agreement would resolve those claims. States can sign the agreement in 30 days, whereas the local governments have up to 150 days to participate in the deal.

Arkansas will sign the agreement after reviewing the final documents of the deal. The state would receive $216 million as a settlement for the opioid crisis.

The settlement is a part of the $26 billion deal announced by a federal judge to tackle the opioid epidemic throughout the nation. J&J will pay $5 billion, and the distributors will pay the remaining amount of $21 billion.

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