Native American Tribes Reach $590 Million Opioid Settlement With Johnson & Johnson & Three Distribution Companies

Native American Tribes Reach $590 Million Opioid Settlement With Johnson & Johnson & Three Distribution Companies

According to the Associated Press, Native American tribes have reached a settlement of $590 million pertaining to the opioid crisis. 

According to court documents filed on Tuesday, the settlement is between Johnson & Johnson and the three largest distribution companies–AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson.

While some of the details are still being determined, the U.S. District Court in Cleveland has laid out the deal’s guidelines. With the settlement, Johnson & Johnson will pay $150 million over two years. The other three distribution companies would contribute $440 million in total over seven years.

The deal will be put into action once 95% of the 574 federally recognized tribes who have filed lawsuits against the companies agree with the settlement terms, said Tara Sutton, a lawyer whose firm is representing 28 tribes.

“The dollars that will flow to tribes under this initial settlement will help fund crucial, on-reservation, culturally appropriate opioid treatment services,” Douglas Yankton, chairman of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota, said in a statement.

Tribes can still participate even if they don’t have a lawsuit against the companies. 

“More than 400 tribes and intertribal organizations representing about 80% of tribal citizens have sued over opioids,” AP reports.

The new settlement reached is also part of a bigger set of lawsuits worth $40 billion, including penalties and fines given to companies for their role in the opioid crisis.

Johnson & Johnson stated that the settlement is not an admission of guilt, and AmerisourceBergen said it would help them focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain.

In addition, the same companies are in the “final stages of approval of settlements worth $26 billion with state and local governments across the U.S. They have until later this month to decide whether enough government entities have signed on to continue in the deal.”

Roomies, what do you think about this?