Drug Distributors and Major Pharmaceutical Company Reach $26 Billion Global Settlement with States to End Opioid Litigation

  • A bipartisan group of AGs reached a $26 billion global settlement with three major drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) (collectively “Companies”), pending approval by the vast majority of states and municipalities, to release the Companies from all civil liability relating to the opioid crisis.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, negotiated by a team of lawyers that included Cozen O’Connor’s JB Kelly, the three distributors collectively will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years and J&J will pay up to $5 billion over nine years, with the substantial majority of the funds to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention. In addition, the distributors will establish an independent clearinghouse to provide aggregated data and analytics about drug distribution nationwide and will use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies. J&J agreed to stop selling and promoting opioids, and to share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.
  • States and municipalities have 30 days to review the deal and provide formal approval.