Attorney General Leevin T. Camacho and attorneys general across the country on Thursday revealed the details of a proposed $26 billion national opioid settlement with Johnson & Johnson and the three largest pharmaceutical distributors in the country: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.
The attorneys general have been engaged in ongoing efforts to hold these companies responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic gripping the country.
Under the terms of the historic proposed settlement, Guam will receive upwards of $10 million–the largest non-tobacco settlement Guam has ever received. The settlement will be
paid out over 18 years and the majority of the money must be spent on the treatment and
prevention of opioid abuse and co-occurring substance abuse disorder or mental health
“Actions speak louder than words,” said Attorney General Camacho. “We’ll continue to
deliver on the promise we made to secure more resources to fight Guam’s drug problem.”
This settlement comes as a result of investigations by state attorneys general into whether
the three distributors fulfilled their legal duty to refuse to ship opioids to pharmacies that
submitted suspicious drug orders and whether Johnson & Johnson misled patients and
doctors about the addictive nature of opioid drugs.
The agreement would resolve the claims of state and local governments across the country, including the nearly 4,000 that have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts. The companies have also agreed to make significant industry changes in their business practices to help prevent this type of crisis from happening again.
The agreement in principle was reached by all parties in October of 2019 and the parties
have been working on the particulars of the settlement since then. State negotiations were
led by Attorneys General Josh Stein (NC), Herbert Slatery (TN) and the attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Deputy Attorney General Fred Nishihira and Assistant Attorney General Joseph Perez
from the OAG Consumer Protection Division handled the case for Guam.
Following today’s agreement, territories and states have 30 days to join the deal and local
governments in the participating states will have up to 150 days to join. The deal’s ratification is contingent on a critical mass of territorial, state, and local governments
AG Camacho has prioritized taking action against companies and parties who created and
fueled the opioid crisis. His first year in office, the OAG sued Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the
manufacturer of OxyContin. Earlier this year, AG Camacho joined a bipartisan coalition of
attorneys general to secure $279,000 for Guam in a settlement against McKinsey &
Company, one of the world’s largest marketing firms that worked for Purdue and other
opioid companies, helped promote the drugs and profited from the opioid epidemic.
(Office of the Attorney General of Guam)