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Alabama reached settlements over the opioid crisis.

Alabama reaches opioid settlements with Johnson & Johnson, others


Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced “the state has reached settlements with two pharmaceutical manufacturers and one pharmaceutical distributor totaling approximately $276 million to resolve the state’s claims against them for their role in exacerbating the opioid crisis.” The settlements are with Johnson & Johnson, McKesson and Endo Pharmaceutical. According to a news release from Marshall’s office, the settlements broke down as follows:

  • J&J: $70.3 million in a lump sum payment
  • McKesson: $141 million over nine years
  • Endo: $25 million in a lump-sum payment

“Having encountered the utter darkness of the opioid crisis at my own doorstep, this is one of my most meaningful accomplishments as… attorney general,” Marshall said in a statement Tuesday. Marshall’s wife Bridgette committed suicide after a battle with opioid addiction back in 2018.

Alabama had accused McKesson of failing to prevent the diversion of opioids for illicit purposes. J&J and Endo were accused of engaging in deceptive marketing practices that downplayed the addiction risks of opioids.

The state was one of four to decline to join a nationwide $26 billion opioid settlement involving J&J, McKesson, and two other top distributors. That settlement was finalized in February. According to Marshall’s office, Alabama will get more from McKesson and a faster payout from J&J compared to what the state would have received under the national settlement.

“These three settlement agreements affirm my decision to decline participation in the national opioid settlements, which did not adequately acknowledge the unique harm that Alabamians have endured and would have redirected millions of dollars to bigger states that experienced a less severe impact,” Marshall said.

The Alabama opioid settlements came amid a wave of litigation by other state governments. On Monday, West Virginia announced a $99 million settlement with J&J. The state is also in the midst of a trial against drugmakers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and AbbVie’s Allergan unit.

Meanwhile, Florida reached more than $878 million in opioid settlements with CVS Health Corp and three drug companies in March. The state also began a trial against pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance last week.