Last week, Cochise County, over 40 American states, and thousands of communities around the country finalized a $26 billion global opioid settlement that was announced on July 21, 2021, with the “Big Three” drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
Over 90% of litigating communities nationwide have signed onto the agreement. Cochise County and thousands of other communities around the country are set to receive settlement dollars starting as soon as May 2022 to fund abatement, treatment, and recovery programs to meet pressing opioid crisis relief needs.
“Cochise County should receive slightly over $3 million to be used for approved purposes,” says Chief Civil Deputy County Attorney, Christine J. Roberts. “Cochise County’s litigation efforts resulted in funds that will be used to address the opioid epidemic within our County and better the lives of Cochise County residents. This settlement ensures that funds will go directly to our community to support recovery efforts. The County will decide on programs that will bring the biggest benefit to the most people affected by opioid use.”
Cochise County voted in favor of a statewide framework to allocate Arizona share of settlement funds secured efficiently and fairly, meaning the funds will be divided as follows: local governments will receive 56% and 44% will go to the state.
Each of the opioid distributors and Johnson & Johnson will make annual payments consisting of base and incentive payments. Initial deposits were put into escrow in 2021 and the first round of funding for many programs could be delivered as soon as May 2022, following a consent judgment within each participating state. Additional funds are expected to be received by July 2022.
The settlement also calls for injunctive relief that requires the “Big Three” drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson to make significant changes to corporate practices to protect consumer health and welfare.
For more information on the global settlement agreement with AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson, please visit nationalopioidsettlement.com.