rkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Friday (July 23) a $26 billion agreement with pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors of opioids.
The agreement includes Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures and markets opioids. The settlement requires significant industry changes that will help prevent an opioid crisis from happening again, she said. The agreement would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.
Drug overdoses, fueled by opioids, has been the second leading cause of accidental deaths in Arkansas in the last decade. In the last three years, opioid deaths have been declining, but they are still high on a per capita basis.