HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday an agreement was made with the nation’s major pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers to compensate up to $26 billion to address the opioid epidemic in the state and country, and prevent it from happening again.
The agreement was made with distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, as well as manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
“No amount of money, no number of sanctions, will be able to right these wrongs,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “But this settlement puts in place controls that will go a long way to make sure that this never happens again, and the money that will come to Pennsylvania will help offer and expand life-saving treatment options across our Commonwealth.”
This agreement helps resolve state and local government claims all over the nation, including about 4,000 filed in federal and state courts. States have 30 days to sign the deal, and local governments in participating states have 150 days to join.
States and their local governments will receive maximum payments if each comes together and joins the agreement.
Pa. is one of the lead states in these negotiations and intends to sign. The Commonwealth’s share will be allocated in an intrastate agreement. Attorney General Shapiro says the state is set to get a maximum combined payment of approximately $1 billion for full participation.
“We expect broad support for this agreement from Attorneys General of both parties. As a group, we know two things to be true: the cost of this epidemic is immense—far more than this deal, and this agreement is the best way to deliver the most help to communities in need, right now. Today’s action sends a message to drug distributors and pharmaceutical companies that we won’t accept this behavior, and that we’re here to always fight for the people we serve,” Attorney General Shapiro said.