US pharmaceutical companies advance $25 billion opioid settlement


The companies announced that enough US states and other opposing parties had signed on to proceed with nearly $25 billion in settlements – Copyright AFP/File Adrian DENNIS

Johnson & Johnson and three major drug distributors said Friday that opioid settlements worth nearly $25 billion had garnered enough support from opposing parties to be finalized in court.

According to a joint press release from the companies.

The statement noted that “the companies continue to strongly contest the allegations made against them,” but called the agreement “a key step toward broadly resolving government claims about opioids and providing meaningful relief to communities at home.” across the United States that have been affected by the opiate epidemic.”

The sum is slightly lower than the amount given in July 2021 when the deal was first announced. The difference reflects the level of participation in the agreement, which involved more than 90% of states and jurisdictions that filed a lawsuit.

The final step in the process will be for both parties to seek a court order finalizing the agreement. The first annual payment could begin as early as April 2, 2022, the companies said.

Johnson & Johnson issued a similar statement regarding participation in its $5 billion payment deal to address claims nationwide, adding that the agreement “is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing.”

The opioid crisis in the United States has claimed more than 500,000 lives over the past 20 years and ensnared some of the biggest companies in the world of American medicine.

The same four companies have reached an agreement to pay $590 million to settle lawsuits related to opioid addiction among Native American tribesmen, according to a US court filing earlier this month.


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