Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says his office has successfully secured $1.167 billion for Texas out of a $26 billion opioid settlement.
The settlement was announced last summer with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.
In a statement Wednesday, Paxton's office said "the companies were sued for their role in creating and fueling the nationwide opioid epidemic. The agreement will largely track the terms of the Global Prescription Opioid Litigation Settlement Agreement that 52 states and territories signed onto in a July 23, 2021 settlement."
The attorneys general who negotiated the settlement put together a council to decide where the funds would be spent. The funds headed to the state are expected to be used on treatment and recovery services and to combat the ongoing opioid crisis and will not be part of the state's general fund.
“Pharmaceutical companies that have been at the root of the problem must be involved in not only changing their business practices to keep this tragic epidemic from taking more lives in the future, but also by providing treatment for those currently still struggling with opioid addiction," Paxton said in a statement. “Texans have been devastated by the opioid crisis and it is important that this settlement is proportioned fairly among the communities that need it most.”
Paxton said a large amount of the money has been received from drug maker Johnson and Johnson and that the state will continue to receive payments for 18 years.
“Every community across the nation has been touched by the opioid crisis. We’ve lost more than a million Americans to this epidemic, and sadly, it’s at an all-time high as overdose deaths continue to rise in the face of the pandemic and its resulting anxiety, stress, and dislocation. We’re encouraged by this support of local governments and committed to doing everything in our power to get the full share of funds for the people of our states so we can help people get treatment and recovery resources as quickly as possible,” Paxton added.
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Paxton said the settlement is the fifth statewide opioid settlement his office has finalized for Texas, which now totals more than $1.89 billion from the makers and distributors of opioids.