Pennsylvania Could Get $1 Billion for Drug Prevention from Opioid Settlement

Pennsylvania Could Get $1 Billion for Drug Prevention from Opioid Settlement

Pennsylvania could receive $1 billion because of two lawsuits occurring in multiple states. Attorney General Josh Shapiro claims that three of the country’s major pharmaceutical distributors and one manufacturer must pay up to $26 billion. The companies would be paying for their reckless marketing, manufacturing, and distributing of prescription opioids leading to the deadly opioid crisis. The $26 billion will be paid between Cardinal, McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, and Johnson & Johnson. Other industry changes will also be made so a reoccurrence of the current epidemic does not happen.

The entire epidemic started with the distribution of prescription drugs. When people became more desperate to feed their addiction, a demand for illicit opioids was created leading to 93,000 overdose deaths last year. It was thought that the overdose deaths peaked in 2017, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, overdose deaths have increased.

The money cannot fix everything, but the extra steps put in place should help pave the way to ensure this does not happen again. The money from the settlement will help with lifesaving treatments around Pennsylvania.

There is cautious optimism about the settlement money helping the region. Grassroots organizations and other organizations that have been operating with barely any funding are hoping to receive a portion of the money while some people hope the money will go to prevention, intervention, and treatment to help curb the pandemic. If the money is effective, there could be a dramatic drop in addiction cases.

This settlement will resolve the 4,000 state and local government claims across the country in state and federal courts. At this time, it is not known how many states will sign on to the settlement, but Pennsylvania is one of them. States have 30 days and local governments will have 150 days to sign up. If the states and local governments support the agreement, they will receive the maximum payment.

Cardinal, McKesson, and Amerisource Bergen all have to pay collectively $21 billion over the course of 18 years while Johnson & Johnson will have to pay $5 billion over 9 years. In the first three years Johnson & Johnson will have to pay $3.7 billion. Once the 150-day deadline is over, states should know the amount of money they will be receiving.

Were you affected by the opioid epidemic? Contact us today to see if you could be owed compensation. Call 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you.

Source:
Deb Erdley, “Opioid settlement could funnel $1 billion to Pennsylvania drug prevention, treatment” TribLive (July 21, 2021). [Link]
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