In announcing the settlement yesterday with the 3 biggest opioid distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, a group of state attorneys general acknowledge the compensation is insufficient for those who lost loved ones to opioids, The Washington Post reports.
But they also held out hope that payments to states over the next 18 years will stem future deaths.
- The settlement will potentially get the companies out of 3,000 lawsuits.
- The agreement includes new enforcement and treatment avenues, including a clearinghouse that would track opioid distribution, the Post reported in another article.
- The companies did not acknowledge any wrongdoing. Barred from producing opioids in the future, J&J will pay $5 billion in the settlement but said its opioid marketing was “appropriate and responsible.”
- 69,710 died of opioid overdoses in 2020.
The Quote: A “trail of destruction and tragedy has basically ravaged every corner of New York and every region of this nation,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Public Health Responds
50+ leading health groups urged states and communities to use the funds wisely and responsibly, per a statement following the settlement’s announcement. The coalition published 5 guiding principles earlier this year for spending the opioid settlement funds.
The principles advise that the funds are used to save lives, rely on evidence, invest in youth prevention, invest in youth overdose prevention, etc.