More than three years after filing its first lawsuit against Big Pharma, Delaware, together with a bipartisan coalition of roughly 12 other attorneys, has negotiated a $26 billion deal with some of the firms that they claim are to blame for the country’s opioid crisis. This settlement includes drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and three large medical distributors — Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – with Delaware expecting to receive $100 million.
The funds will be dispersed through a commission recently established in Delaware to deal with circumstances like these and will be used to treat and prevent opioid addiction in the state. The more local “subdivisions,” or cities and municipalities that have also sued Big Pharma, such as Dover and New Castle County, sign on to this arrangement, the more money Delaware may expect to get in its payment, according to officials.
It will also reform and raise distributor accountability for their role in the opioid crisis, preventing local pharmacies from getting an influx of tablets that greatly exceeded the population of small towns across America. Delaware, too, continues to have significant opioid dispersion rates. As of February, the state still ranked first in the nation for the number of high-dose and long-acting opioids administered per population. But, she added, this sum — an increase of nearly $4 billion from the first settlement figure floated in 2019 – at least starts to make a dent in the current problem.