Texas to receive $1.17 billion from pharmaceutical companies for opioid prevention, education

Texas and some of its largest counties will receive $ 1.17 billion in opioid aid as part of a nationwide settlement of three major pharmaceutical distribution companies, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Wednesday.

The money comes from a $ 26 billion deal signed by 52 U.S. states and territories that Texas joined in July. Paxton has urged cities and counties to join a settlement with three pharmaceutical companies – McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen – that have been accused of exacerbating the opioid crisis, ignoring the number of opioid pills ordered in the last two years.

Texas and organizations in the settlement will receive money that will mostly go to treatment, prevention and education from opioid overdoses over the next 18 years. The agreement also includes a system that will track and report drug deliveries between distributors.

“Companies have sued for their role in creating and fueling a nationwide opioid epidemic,” Paxton told a media event at LifePath Systems, a nonprofit organization with McKinney that has increasingly spent money on fighting the effects of the opioid crisis. “The opioid crisis across the country and the state of Texas is staggering.”

Three pharmaceutical companies, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, denied past allegations.

“While the companies strongly challenge the allegations made in these lawsuits, they believe that the proposed settlement agreement and the settlement process it establishes … are important steps towards broadly resolving government claims to opioids and providing significant assistance to communities throughout the United States, ”the company said. said in a statement after the announcement of the July agreement.

Nearly half a million people died from opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So far, Texas has received more than $ 1.8 billion in opioid aid from various pharmaceutical companies, including $ 225 million from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries last week. In October, Paxton announced a $ 290 million repayment to pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson for their use of deceptive marketing tactics that helped fuel the crisis.

To enter into a $ 26 billion deal, the county or city had to join the deal by Jan. 26 and waive the opportunity to sue the company. About 90% of local governments across the country eligible to participate in the agreement have joined it. The total amount of money Texas received depended on how many local organizations joined the deal. Paxton called on cities and counties to join.

Paxton said his office has actively collaborated with district judges from Colin, Dallas, Bexar, Harris and Taranto counties and with state attorneys general including California, Florida, Massachusetts and New York.

Bexar, Dallas and Harris County officials said in a statement they said the settlement was a way to address the effects of the opioid crisis in their communities, citing a large $ 1.8 billion in Texas as a whole and $ 75 million in narcotics. a drug that can reverse opioid overdose with rapid administration.

“This is another step in bringing companies to justice for their role in the opioid crisis,” Harris County Attorney Christian Menefi said in a statement. “Too many communities have suffered incredible losses, and this settlement is helping us move towards recovery.”

Leave a Comment