D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine on Friday announced the District will receive over $47 million from a signed settlement with the opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and three leading opioid distributors which will be used for supporting District residents dealing with opioid addiction.
The District is expected to receive nearly $9 million from Johnson & Johnson, set to be paid over a 10-year span and over $38 million from McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal—the country’s three leading pharmaceutical distributors—which will be paid over 18 years. All of the payments will go toward treating opioid abuse, prevention, treatment, and recovery.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged communities across the country, including the District which had the fourth highest opioid overdose rate in 2019,” said Racine. “Opioid deaths increased to 411 in 2020, and the preliminary data for 2021 is not showing any improvement. Tragically, Black D.C. residents are disproportionately impacted as they accounted for 84% of overdose fatalities in the last six years. Our city can and must do more to creatively and effectively save lives. This is a public health crisis and a social justice issue.”