Oklahoma City, OK – Attorney General John O’Connor recently announced another opioid settlement for Oklahoma—this time with three opioid distributors, McKesson, Cardinal, and AmerisourceBergen. The settlement will deliver more than $250 million to Oklahoma to combat the opioid epidemic that has deeply impacted the lives of its four million citizens.
“Many Oklahoma families have been ravaged and lives have been lost by opioid addictions and overdoses,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “Money cannot possibly heal those wounds or bring back our loved ones. The funds we are recovering will be used to prevent and treat addictions to opioids.”
The Attorney General’s Office filed suit against these companies to hold them accountable for their role in creating and fueling the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Attorney General O’Connor previously rejected a national settlement with these Distributors that would have short-changed Oklahomans. By rejecting the national deal, and instead pursuing recovery against the Distributors separately, General O’Connor has guaranteed more money for the State and its cities and counties to fight the opioid crisis.
With these funds, Oklahoma has now recovered over $680 million, less the attorneys’ fees and costs related to the opioid crisis.
“I am pleased that the state and many local governments were able to work together to arrive at this settlement amount,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “This settlement is still subject to approval by the decision-makers in the cities and counties.”
Through the settlement with the Distributors, General O’Connor has obtained the following benefits for Oklahoma:
- More than $250 million to be shared by the State and the cities and counties within Oklahoma—a higher per-capita recovery than the amount recovered by many other states, in recognition of the outsized impact the opioid crisis has had on Oklahoma.
- Recovered money for cities and counties who filed lawsuits against the Distributors, and for many others which did not file lawsuits. Funding for cities and counties will be allocated to those areas that need help most.
- Saved the State millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees and expenses. The Distributors have agreed to reimburse the State for millions of dollars of attorneys’ fees that would otherwise be paid directly from the recovery the State receives for abatement. And both the outside counsel for the State and counsel for Oklahoma’s cities and counties have agreed to reduce their overall fees and expenses, saving the State considerable money, and reserving more to address the opioid epidemic.
- Obtained significant injunctive relief that requires the Distributors to take action to prevent drug diversion going forward, including establishing a clearinghouse that consolidates data from all three distributors that can be used by state regulators to prevent diversion of prescription opioids.
- Ensured that this settlement will be overseen and administered in Oklahoma, by Oklahoma state courts and Oklahoma judges, rather than federal courts located in other states.
- Guaranteed that no less than 85% of the total amount recovered from the Distributors will go to abating the opioid epidemic in Oklahoma.
Source: Oklahoma AG’s Office