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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and three major pharmaceutical wholesalers have finalized nationwide settlements over their role in the opioid crisis, paving the way to distribute $26 billion to numerous state and local governments across the country.

The settlement is the largest so far among many lawsuits filed by communities seeking compensation for the decades-long expenses of coping with the fallout from addiction to opioid painkillers. J&J, AmerisourceBergen (ABC), Cardinal Health (CAH), and McKesson (MCK) agreed to the deal last year, but payouts have been contingent on getting participation from a majority of state and local governments.


“The bottom line from this news is that help is on the way for first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines of this public health crisis. While nothing can truly make whole what was lost in this country, what we can do is ensure that thousands of communities nationwide have the tools they need to prevent the opioid epidemic from taking more lives,” the attorneys for the governments said in a statement.

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