Iowa could net $170-million in opioid agreement


Opioid epidemic and drug abuse concept

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(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa could receive $170 million in a huge national agreement, with the distributors of opioids.

The $26 billion, national agreement includes Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured and marketed opioids. The agreement also requires significant industry changes that will help prevent this type of crisis from ever happening again. The agreement would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic. 

“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in the fight against the opioid crisis. We support the agreement,” Miller said. “The substantial majority of the money is to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention. Money from this settlement, as well as our previous settlement with McKinsey and the anticipated agreement with the Sackler family, can save lives and prevent such a crisis from happening again."

The agreement would resolve the claims of both states and local governments across the country, including the nearly 4,000 that have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts. States now have 30 days to sign onto the deal. Local governments in participating states will have up to 150 days to join. Over the life of the settlement, Iowa would receive a maximum of $170 million with all local governments on board.

Nationally, opioid overdose deaths rose to a record 93,000 last year which was nearly 30% higher than in 2019.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports opioid-related deaths in this state jumped nearly 36% in 2020, from 157 to 213.


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