New York has reached a $1.1 billion agreement with three of the nation's largest opioid distributors to help curb and prevent drug use across the state.
Attorney General Letitia James announced an agreement with McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation — three of the nation’s largest drug distributors — that will deliver up to $1.1 billion to New York state to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic.
- Earlier report: NY, Other States Reach $4.5B Settlement With Purdue Pharma Over Its Role In Opioid Epidemic
The agreement is the largest monetary settlement ever negotiated by James’ office.
According to the AG, “the agreement resolves claims for the three companies’ role in helping to fuel the opioid epidemic and will remove the three distributors from New York’s ongoing opioid trial, currently underway in Suffolk County State Supreme Court.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 Americans have died during the opioid epidemic, which began with the aggressive sale and marketing of prescription painkillers in the late 1990s.
Data from the CDC found overdose deaths hit a deadly new record last year with roughly 93,000 fatalities.
“For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities throughout New York and across the rest of the nation, killing hundreds of thousands of our friends and family members and addicting millions more,” James said in a statement.
“And over the course of these past two decades, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen distributed these opioids without regard to the national crisis they were helping to fuel.”
The settlement also includes funding for New York’s attorney’s fees. The money will be paid out during the next 17 years, with the first payment scheduled in September.
In addition to the cash, the drug distributors also agreed to monitor their opioid shipments going forward, with a third-party, independent watchdog overseeing pharmacy-level distribution data pooled among the three companies.
“Today, we’re holding them accountable and delivering more than $1 billion more into New York communities ravaged by opioids for treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts — bringing the statewide total our office has negotiated in the last month alone to more than $1.6 billion.”
“While no amount of money will ever compensate for the millions of addictions, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, or the countless communities decimated by opioids, this money will be vital in preventing any future devastation.”
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