ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s Office has reached a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and major opioid distributors.
Thursday morning, Schmitt announced his office received a term sheet from Johnson & Johnson and multiple distributors (McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, and Cardinal Health) that tentatively secures roughly half a billion dollars of funding for Missouri. Under the proposed settlement, Johnson & Johnson will pay out $5 billion total and distributors will pay out $21 billion total to all states that agree to the terms.
“Opioid addiction has stolen thousands of our children, our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and loved ones. It has ravaged our state, and ruined lives, shattered dreams, and cut thousands of lives short. While this proposed settlement won’t bring back any of these victims, today’s announcement brings the very real possibility of just over half a billion dollars that will go directly toward funding crucial addiction treatment, recovery, and intervention programs, providing needed resources to victims of opioid addiction and funding prevention measures,” said Schmitt.
According to Schmitt, the money received from the settlement will go into a legislatively created fund that will be used by the Departments of Mental Health, Social Services, Health and Senior Services, and Public Safety to fund existing programs, prevention programs, education program, intervention efforts and more.
As part of the multi-state settlement, all attorneys general have to sign on to the term sheets in 30 days. After that, they will have 120 days to achieve sign-on from subdivisions that would trigger incentive payments. Schmitt said he has created the “Fighting Addiction, Saving Lives” initiative to push for those sign-ons.