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Attorney General Moody lead negotiations to secure $26B through opioid litigation agreements

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 23:27:54-04

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced $26 billion nationwide agreements that will bring relief to Americans and Floridians who are struggling with opioid addiction.

The agreements follow years of litigation efforts led by Attorney General Moody and other state attorneys general against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors — and Johnson & Johnson, who manufactured and marketed opioids.

“Since day one, I have fought to hold those accountable who played a part in fueling the opioid epidemic and these settlement agreements are a large step forward in our fight to end this crisis. I recognize that no amount of money will bring back those lost, but Florida and its subdivisions will receive more than a billion and a half dollars under these agreements to pay for prevention, treatment and recovery-related services. I will continue litigating with the remaining defendants to hold them accountable," said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

RELATED: Experts: Spend opioid settlement funds on fighting opioids

Based on the agreements, the three distributors will collectively pay up to $21 billion over 17 and a half years, with $1.3 billion going to Florida, and Johnson & Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over nine years with Florida receiving another almost $300 million.

Attorney generals from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas joined Attorney General Moody in negotiating these settlements.

“While the damage can’t be undone, the more than $1.3 billion Florida will receive will help us continue to combat the devastating effects of the nationwide opioid crisis,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This settlement helps hold these companies accountable for their role in contributing to the opioid epidemic and will provide Floridians struggling with opioid addiction the services they need to recover. I appreciate Attorney General Ashley Moody for championing efforts to address the destruction caused by opioids in Florida.”

The agreement with distributors will result in court orders requiring AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal and McKesson to:

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors;
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies;
  • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion;
  • Prohibit shipping and report suspicious opioid orders;
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders; and
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

The agreement with Johnson & Johnson will result in court orders requiring the company to:

  • Stop selling opioids for 10 years;
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids;
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids; and
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.