Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced on Oct. 21 that he and Attorneys General Josh Stein (NC), Herbert Slatery (TN), and Ken Paxton (TX) secured a $48 billion agreement in principle with pharmaceutical companies Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Johnson & Johnson, and Teva for their roles in fueling the opioid epidemic, according to Shapiro’s office.
The framework agreed upon includes having the companies pay $22.25 billion in cash and $26 billion in medication-assisted treatment drug provision and distribution to each of the four states over 10 years. In addition, the three major distributors have also agreed to change their policies to prevent over-distribution in the future.
“The opioid, heroin and fentanyl epidemic claims the lives of 12 Pennsylvanians per day, and this public health and public safety crisis was engineered by opioid manufacturers and distributors,” said Shapiro. “Today’s agreement holds three of those distributors and two manufacturers accountable for their roles in perpetuating this epidemic.”
The agreement announced today is an agreement in principle. Each state and its local governments will receive a share of the $22.25 billion in cash to take action to abate the crisis, including providing addiction treatment, community paramedic services, and telehealth treatment, among other activities. The formula for distributing this cash is being finalized.
This agreement is the result of an investigation led by Shapiro with 40 other Attorneys General into six manufacturers and three distributors for their roles in the opioid epidemic.