Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will pay a partial settlement of around $1.3 million to $3 million to Orange County for fueling the opioid epidemic that resulted in several deaths due to opioid addiction.
The officials representing the county said that the final settlement amount would depend on the number of counties accepting the agreement. The amount will be higher if the maximum number of counties sign the agreement.
J&J will make the first payment in the settlement in February. The funds would be used to tackle the opioid addiction in the county. It will even fund the opioid treatment programmes and support services that are designed to help the people struggling with addiction problems.
The spokesperson for Orange County said that the opioid manufacturers and distributors were aware of the addictive qualities of the drugs, yet marketed and sold them for profits. The settlement would not bring back the lost lives, but it will surely give some sigh of relief to the affected people and their families.
Orange County witnessed a 25% growth as compared to last year in the death rate due to opioid overdose. Last year, opioid overdose resulted in over 70,000 deaths in the U.S. To date, 500,000 deaths are linked to opioid overdose in the country.