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Opioid settlement expected to net $400M for Wisconsin

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:46 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WBAY) - Wisconsin is set to receive about $400 million as part of a proposed $26 billion national legal settlement over the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Wisconsin’s share of the settlement with the three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies and drug maker Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday.

The agreement calls for Johnson & Johnson to pay up to $5 billion, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health to each contribute $6.4 billion, and McKesson to pay $7.9 billion.

According to a release issued by Kaul’s office, Johnson and Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over the course of nine years, with up to $3.7 billion paid during the first three years, with all three distributors collectively will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years.

Additionally, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to stop selling opioids and the distributors have agreed to establish an independent clearinghouse that will track the amount of opioids they send to health care providers and localities.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit that Wisconsin joined in 2019 with multiple other states.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is still reviewing the final details of the proposed agreement, and Kaul’s office says the DOJ will indicate its intention to join by August 20, 2021. That date is a deadline set within the agreement.

While states have 30 days to sign onto the deal, local governments in the participating states will have up to 150 days to join in.

Kaul’s office says states and their local governments will receive maximum payments if each state and its local governments join together in support of the agreement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.