“In San Francisco, every day on our streets, we see the devastation of the opioid crisis that these companies created.”
SAN FRANCISCO (February 25, 2021) — City Attorney David Chiu released the following statement today after the $26 billion national opioid settlement was finalized with three major pharmaceutical distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson – and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. As a participating jurisdiction, San Francisco stands to receive up to $61 million from the settlement that would go towards addressing the opioid crisis in the City.
“In San Francisco, every day on our streets, we see the devastation of the opioid crisis that these companies created. No settlement can unring that bell or bring back the lives that were lost, but this agreement holds these companies accountable and gives San Francisco additional resources to combat the opioid epidemic. I am grateful for the hard work of lawyers on our team, our outside counsel, and participating jurisdictions around the country to see this settlement to fruition.”
Thousands of states, local governments, and communities across the United States have sued opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies for their role in opioid crisis. This settlement with Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson resolves a large number of the claims brought by 3,300 communities around the country.
In addition to paying a total of $26 billion to the participating communities, the four companies involved have agreed to make significant changes to their corporate practices. Among those changes, Johnson & Johnson will be prohibited from marketing or selling opioids for the next ten years. The three distributor companies will be required to track opioid shipments across the three distributor companies to recognize suspicious orders or signs of diversion.
San Francisco stands to receive between $50 to $61 million to be paid over 18 years, and the City should begin to receive funds as early as May 2022. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors confirmed San Francisco’s participation and approved the terms of the settlement on November 19, 2021. The settlements require 85 percent of funds go towards programs that will help alleviate the ongoing opioid crisis through treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and prevention.
The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has ongoing litigation against other opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. The trial in that case, City and County of San Francisco et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., is expected to begin on April 25, 2022. More information about the Office’s ongoing litigation can be found here.