Johnson & Johnson (J&J), McKesson, Amerisource Bergen Drug, and Cardinal Health have recently all agreed to a $26 billion settlement fund to resolve thousands of opioid addiction crisis lawsuits from around the country. In recent years, Big Pharma overall has been slammed with lawsuits that accuse numerous companies of knowingly fueling the country’s worsening fight with widespread opiate addiction by falsely reporting the addictiveness of their medications and by coercing doctors to prescribe opioids when unnecessary. During the pandemic, fatal opioid overdoses spiked by about 30%, which added fire to the arguments brought forth by a large group of State Attorneys General.
At this point, not all states have agreed to the proposed multibillion-dollar settlement fund, but it is expected that a similar agreement will be reached soon. The money placed into the fund will not directly benefit people who have lost loved ones in the last 12 or so years to opioid addictions, however. The fund would instead gradually trickle funds to all 50 states for use in new and improved addiction treatment programs and anti-prescription abuse campaigns.
The money provided for the funds will come from:
- J&J: The Big Pharma conglomerate has agreed to pay $5 billion to the fund throughout the next 9 years, with most of it being paid in the first 3 years.
- McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, and Cardinal Health: The three Big Pharma distributors have agreed to collectively pay $21 billion to the fund across the next 18 years.
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson would be prohibited from selling opioids, funding another company that sells opioids, or lobby for any “opioid-related activity.” The distributors will need to share any of their internal shipment data for an external review, which could uncover further issues and controversies.
Notably, none of the companies who have agreed to fund the settlement have admitted to any wrongdoing. At the most, they have noted that the opioid crisis is real while giving statements that they would like to help stop it.For more information about the recent settlement news about the opioid lawsuits from across the country, you can click here to view a full article from CNN Business. If you need help fighting opioid addiction, whether it started with a prescription opiate or not, then Mount Sinai Wellness Center in Atlanta can help. Contact us today to learn about our holistic approach to treatment that dives into your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.