ATLANTA — Georgia attorney general Chris Carr announced Friday that the State of Georgia has signed on to the $26 billion multi-state agreement with Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and opioid manufacturer and marketer Johnson & Johnson.
The settlement agreement resolves investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic, particularly as to whether the three distributors fulfilled their legal duty to refuse to ship opioids to pharmacies that submitted suspicious drug orders and whether Johnson & Johnson misled patients and doctors about the addictive nature of opioid drugs.
The settlement requires the companies to provide substantial funding for opioid treatment and prevention and to implement significant industry changes that will help to prevent this type of crisis from ever happening again.
Georgia and its local governments stand to receive approximately $636 million under the settlement agreement. Georgia’s share of the settlement will be distributed among the state and local governments pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement, to which the state and local governments have already agreed. Final settlement approval remains contingent on a critical mass of states and local governments participating across the country.