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Attorney General Donovan Announces Major Settlement with Opioid Distributers

July 21, 2021

Contact: Charity Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Vermont to Receive Roughly $60 Million from Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson

Attorney General Donovan today announced an anticipated settlement agreement in principle with three distributors of opioids sued last year by his office – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured and marketed opioids. This is a nationwide settlement agreement. The amount of Vermont’s portion of the settlement amounts to roughly $60 million. The settlement agreement also requires significant industry changes that will help prevent this type of crisis in the future. The settlement agreement would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.

“Vermont will likely receive approximately $60 million, and it is imperative that some of this money be directed to local communities to abate the opioid crisis,” Attorney General Donovan said.

The settlement agreement will resolve the claims of both states and local governments across the country, including those in Vermont. States have 30 days to sign onto the deal and local governments in the participating states will have an additional 120 days to join to secure a critical mass of participating states and local governments. Payments under the settlement will be maximized if state and local governments join together in support of the agreement.

The final terms of the settlement agreement are still under review.

In 2020, 157 Vermonters died of an opioid overdose, a 38% increase from 114 deaths in 2019