Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that the state had reached a nearly $1.2 billion opioid settlement with three of the nation’s top pharmaceutical distributors: Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen. He said they were being sued “for their role in creating and fueling the national opioid epidemic.”
It’s part of a $26 billion deal with other states including California, Florida, Georgia and New York. Paxton said that money will be distributed to communities in Texas through a council.
“We wanted to make sure that that money went to the crisis, that it didn’t end up in general revenue where it would be spent on all sorts of good things, but we wanted to fix that,” Paxton said during an interview. press conference. . “So the attorneys general across the country put together this opioid council, and in our state we appointed different people to do it. The governor did it, I have one, and others did it.”
Tammy Mahan is one of the board appointees. She is CEO of LifePath Systems, which is Collin County’s local authority and provider of behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The nonprofit also provides addiction services to those in need.
Mahan joined Paxton on Wednesday to announce the settlement at LifePath’s McKinney facility. She said she is delighted that it is helping to increase access to “all kinds of treatments” for opioid addiction.
“Collin County is no different than any other county in Texas and the nation facing this opioid crisis,” Mahan said. “These funds will have a significant impact on the people we serve.”
In addition to working with other states on the agreement, the AG’s office has partnered with county judges in Texas, as well as local county officials from Collin, Dallas, Bexar, Harris and Tarrant.
“Bexar County is pleased to have worked alongside Dallas County, the State of Texas, and other Texas judicial subdivisions to secure this historic Texas settlement with the Big Three Texas Opioid Distributors” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. in a report.
In a similar statement, Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee welcomed the deal, saying “it’s another step in holding the companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis.”
“Too many communities have suffered incredible losses, and this settlement helps us move forward towards recovery,” he added. “I am pleased that these funds are being distributed to counties and cities across the state to help fight this outbreak and begin the healing process for many people.”
According to the state attorney general’s office, this is Paxton’s fifth statewide opioid settlement. Previous ones include a $225 million Paxton settlement announced last week with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. There was also $290 million agreement with Johnson & Johnson announced last year.
Paxton said the money will be split over time.
“So we have a big chunk now,” Paxton added. “We got a big slice of Johnson & Johnson, but we also have money coming in over the next 18 years.”
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