A group of U.S. state prosecutors announced a groundbreaking $ 26 billion settlement on Wednesday with a major pharmaceutical company that allegedly fueled deadly things nationwide. Opioid epidemicHowever, some states were cool to agree.
Under the settlement, three major U.S. drug distributors, McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and AmerisourceBergen Corp, are expected to pay a total of $ 21 billion, while opioid maker Johnson & Johnson (J & J) will pay $ 5 billion. is.
“The world doesn’t have enough money to deal frankly with pain and suffering,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, adding that the money “helps where it needs help.” ..
The transaction was the second largest cash settlement to date and was only $ 246 billion. Tobacco agreement 1998.
Attorney Generals from 15 states were involved in negotiating the deal.
Payments from distributors will be paid in 18 years. J & J will pay in nine years and up to $ 3.7 billion in the first three years.
This money is expected to be used for addiction treatment, family support, education and other social programs.
Distributors have been accused of loose controls that allowed large amounts of addictive painkillers to be diverted to illegal channels and disrupt the community, and J & J was accused of downplaying the risk of addiction in opioid marketing.
Both companies have denied that claim.
The settlement also calls for the establishment of an independent information center to provide distributors and state regulators with aggregated data on drug shipments, and negotiators hope this will help prevent abuse. ..
More than 3,000 proceedings related to the health crisis have been filed, primarily by state and local governments. Negotiators struggled to find a structure that would obtain sufficient local government support to assure defendants that the proceedings would end almost all proceedings.
As a result, the final payment amount depends on the extent to which the state signs up for the transaction and ensures that the city or county is involved.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said:
The opioid crisis has claimed hundreds of thousands of deaths from overdose in the United States since 1999, but some areas have been hit far more seriously than others, and when it comes to considering a settlement. There is a division between the state governments.
The state has 30 days to evaluate the agreement.
“States that don’t sign on are irresponsible,” said Jeff Landry, Louisiana’s Attorney General. “We do not want perfection to be an enemy of goodness.”
Approximately $ 2.1 billion will be deducted from the attorney’s and legal fees settlement.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he would not participate in the deal.
“The reconciliation is, frankly, not enough for Washington,” he said.
The state’s trial against drug dealers will begin on September 7, and the January trial will be set up against J & J.
To receive full payment, the contract requires assistance from at least 48 states, 98% of the local governments that have filed proceedings, and 97% of jurisdictions that have not yet filed proceedings.
Choosing to participate only guarantees some money to the state.
The settlement will provide up to $ 12.12 billion in base payments and an additional $ 10.7 billion if all states agree to the transaction. a billion Incentive payments based on various factors related to community participation.
Joe Rice, the chief lawyer for the local government, said:
Local governments can participate for up to 120 days.
According to Christine Minhee, who runs the Opioid Proceedings Watchdog Project backed by the Open Society Foundations Soros Judiciary Fellowship, about half of the states will either pass a bill stipulating how the settlement will be distributed in anticipation of the settlement. Signed an agreement with the region. ..
The law does not guarantee success. In Indiana, cities and counties, which make up more than half of the state’s population, opted out after the law restricted reductions to 15%.
West Virginia hit hard He had already signaled that he would not participate in the settlement.
The state municipality is proceeding with a proceeding in proceedings against the distributor.
State Attorney General James Boffetti said the state of New Hampshire, which was heavily affected by the epidemic, has not decided whether to participate in the deal.
Meanwhile, the crisis shows no sign of giving up.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week, provisional data for 2020 Record years of death from overall drug overdose It was 93,331, an increase of 29% over the previous year.
Many deaths are associated with heroin or illicit fentanyl rather than prescribed painkillers, but most people who die often go to those narcotics after first becoming dependent on prescription opioids. I turned my eyes.
Meanwhile, Purdue Pharma plans to seek approval from the Bankruptcy Court separately in August. For trading The company that manufactures the branded opioid painkiller OxyContin says it’s worth $ 10 billion to resolve allegations by state and local governments.
Billionaire member Sackler family The owner of Purdue has agreed to donate about $ 4.3 billion to the plan.
The company and its owner Accused of kickstarting the crisis, While denying cheating.
November 2020, Purdue Entered guilty plea He has joined three criminal proceedings for violating the Federal Anti-Kickback Act, deceiving the United States and violating the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
The judicial transaction included a fine of over $ 8 billion, but most are unpaid because the company is under bankruptcy protection.
Johnson & Johnson Pays $ 5 Billion in Breakthrough $ 26 Billion US Opioid Settlement | Opioid Crisis
Source link Johnson & Johnson Pays $ 5 Billion in Breakthrough $ 26 Billion US Opioid Settlement | Opioid Crisis