Numerous states and 4,000 local governmental entities will share in a historic $26 billion agreement with businesses tied to the opioid epidemic that claimed countless lives over the last decades.
But El Paso County might not receive as much money as it could have, because county commissioners decided not to join the case, although opioid overdose deaths here have steadily risen over the years.
In a news release, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced July 21 the agreement was reached with Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors, and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured and marketed opioids.
"The agreement would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic," the release said. "The agreement also requires significant industry changes that will help prevent this type of crisis from ever happening again. A bipartisan group of attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas led the state negotiations."
Said Weiser, “Since I took the oath of office as Colorado’s Attorney General, our team has focused on how to respond to the opioid epidemic, addressing the supply side, the demand side, and the impact of rising levels of addiction. We have taken a leadership role in the litigation in a number of critical matters, including leading a nationwide action against McKinsey & Company, driving a better settlement with the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma, and reaching this critical milestone against a set of companies that fueled the opioid epidemic. We now have critical work to do to ensure that these funds—working with our local government partners—are used effectively to abate this epidemic.”