Texas could receive as much as $1.5 billion under a multistate settlement over the national opioid epidemic, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced.
The reported $26 billion settlement is expected to include a combined $21 billion in payments from distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, and $5 billion from manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. The three distributors were accused of negligent oversight that allowed for illegal diversion of the drugs, and Johnson & Johnson was accused of marketing that downplayed the risk of opioid addiction. The companies denied wrongdoing.
Texas has 30 days to decide whether to join the settlement, according to the July 23 release. The vast majority of the money the state would receive would be spent on opioid abatement per a new state law.
Senate Bill 1827 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), which the Texas Legislature passed during this year’s regular session, established an opioid abatement account. The bill also set up a council for the fund to ensure money recovered from such legal actions “is allocated fairly and spent to remediate the opioid crisis in this state by using efficient and cost-effective methods that are directed to regions of this state experiencing opioid-related harms.” The Texas Medical Association supported SB 1827.
“Many Texans suffer from addiction and need significant support and treatment to avoid becoming another statistic,” Attorney General Paxton said. “My office will continue to hold the companies that contributed to this crisis accountable and ensure that sufficient funds flow to Texas to provide much-needed relief to our citizens.” According to the release, the amount of money Texas receives “will depend upon the participation of cities, counties, and other political subdivisions in the state.”
Last Updated On
July 29, 2021
Originally Published On
July 29, 2021