Johnson & Johnson adds $1B to opioid settlement


Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday that it is adding $1 billion to its contribution to the all-in settlement deal struck last year that would resolve opioid lawsuits against the company. 

The settlement is part of the $48 billion framework that four states announced one year ago in which Johnson & Johnson and four other companies agreed to provide $22 billion in cash and $26 billion worth of a generic opioid addiction treatment, product distribution and data tracking measures. 

The drugmaker said its additional contribution “results from continued negotiations and is intended to maximize participation in the settlement.” The amount brings the company’s contribution up to $5 billion.

Johnson & Johnson said the settlement “is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing, and the Company will continue to defend against any litigation that the final agreement does not resolve.” 

“The settlement will provide certainty for involved parties and critical assistance for families and communities in need,” the company said.

The terms of the settlement still have to be finalized. 

Under the original agreement, each state and local governments will receive a share of the $22 billion in cash to provide addiction treatment, paramedic services and telehealth treatment. 

McKesson, a drug distributor, agreed to pay the highest amount of all the companies with $6.68 billion over 18 years. 

AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, other distributors, agreed to pay about $5.6 billion each over 18 years. 

Teva, a drugmaker, agreed to supply $23 billion of its generic suboxone product over 10 years. 

However, these companies aren’t the only ones caught in the fire as the nation grapples with the opioid epidemic. 

Mallinckrodt, the largest maker of generic opioids, filed for bankruptcy on Monday as it faces more than $1 billion in costs from lawsuits over its role in fueling the opioid crisis. 

The company in February agreed to a $1.6 billion settlement with 47 attorneys general over the lawsuits. It outlined a structure for making its settlement payments, beginning with a $450 million payment upon emerging form bankruptcy proceedings.

Meanwhile, Purdue Pharma is reportedly close to reaching an agreement to plead guilty to charges related to worsening the epidemic, according to Reuters. The company could face penalties exceeding $8 billion between civil and criminal charges.

Tags johnson & johnson Opioid crisis
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