Wisconsin to receive $ 420 million settlement with opioid distributors

MADISON – Wisconsin would receive $ 420 million over the next two decades under a deal a panel of lawmakers approved on Tuesday in a multi-state lawsuit against major opioid distributors for their role in a health crisis national government that has affected hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The settlement is part of a $ 26 billion deal between opioid maker Johnson & Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson and the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleged that the makers of prescription opioids had grossly misrepresented the risks of long-term use of these drugs for people with chronic pain, and distributors failed to properly monitor suspicious orders for these drugs. ‘order, according to court records.

Wisconsin and 87 local governments in the state were part of the litigation, according to leaders of the Legislative Assembly’s finance committee that approved the settlement on Tuesday.

“This historic agreement will provide substantial assistance to the communities of Wisconsin to help fight the opioid epidemic, which has continued to ravage our state and our nation,” said Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Senator Howard Marklein of Spring Green in a statement following the 13-0 vote.

“The regulations we approved today will ensure that as much funding as possible is spent on opioid abuse prevention and recovery – much needed support after overdose deaths have increased by more than 25% and reached an all-time high last year, ”the executives said.

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Seventy percent of the funds – $ 420.2 million over 18 years – will go to the 87 local governments involved in the litigation and 30% will go to the state’s health services department for programs to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, according to the approved deal. Tuesday.

More than 500,000 people have died from opioid overdoses, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State attorneys general and local governments have filed numerous lawsuits regarding the role of prescription drugs in the public health crisis.

Attorney General Josh Kaul in 2019 also joined a multi-state lawsuit alleging that Purdue Pharma and Richard Sackler – the creators of the potent and addicting pain reliever OxyContin – peddled false information to minimize the risky side effects of using the drug for kill the pain and swollen the benefits of the drug.

“The opioid epidemic was not inevitable,” Kaul said at the time. “This epidemic has torn apart families. It has overdosed thousands of Wisconsinians. It has strained our foster care services. It has strained our health care system. It has strained our care system. straining our criminal justice system. “

Contact Molly Beck at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @MollyBeck.

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