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July 21, 2021

States reach settlement in opioid litigation; CT to get $300M

K-State Research via Flickr

Connecticut is expected to receive about $300 million of a just-announced $26 billion settlement between a coalition of states and four companies that either manufactured or distributed opioid painkillers.

At a press conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday, State Attorney General William Tong announced the terms of the agreement between AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson Corp. and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and the dozens of state attorneys general who have accused those companies of contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic, which according to the Centers for Disease Control has killed around 500,000 people since 1999.

Connecticut has accepted the settlement, Tong said, and most other states participating in the lawsuit are expected to do the same.

“We get some measure of accountability and justice, but if you ask the families who have lost loved ones, there will never be enough justice or accountability,” the attorney general said.

According to state officials, Connecticut will spend its share of the settlement on drug addiction treatment and prevention services. Most of the money will be allocated to the state, but 15% will be distributed to municipalities.

The deal does not affect litigation against Stamford-based Purdue Pharma, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2019. Connecticut, along with several other states, has rejected a proposed settlement of $4.2 billion from that company surrounding its aggressive promotion of opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Tong again dismissed Purdue’s proposed settlement during his remarks Wednesday, calling the offer “woefully inadequate.”

“Purdue had the opportunity to help us address this crisis and instead they threw gasoline on it,” he said.

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