Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has reached a settlement agreement with Colorado and Nevada to put opioid-related allegations there to bed.
Colorado will receive $385 million from Johnson & Johnson and the drug distributors McKesson (NYSE:MCK), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC) and Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH).
Nevada will receive nearly $285.2 million as part of the overall settlement, which is earmarked for battling the ongoing opioid epidemic, according to Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. Of that sum, Johnson & Johnson will pay $63 million, according to a press release.
“The funds that our state will receive going forward will help us save lives and mitigate the harms done to our residents because of the ongoing opioid epidemic,” Ford said in a statement. “Our team has worked diligently to get Nevada the resources we must have to help Nevadans in need in one of the epidemic’s hardest-hit states, and to obtain justice from many opioid manufacturers and distributors. While no settlement will bring back those lost to opioids, these funds will be used to prevent further loss of life and help heal Nevada’s families.”
Nevada joins a proposed nationwide settlement valued up to $26 billion involving McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and J&J.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson announced that it was prepared to pay up to $5 billion to the broader settlement.
Johnson & Johnson has stated that the settlement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing, Johnson & Johnson has stated.
The company noted that the opioids related to the settlement, Duragesic (fentanyl transdermal system), Nucynta (tapentadol) and Nucynta ER, made up to less than 1% of all opioid prescriptions in Nevada since they were launched.
Johnson & Johnson has since ceased selling opioids in the U.S., discontinuing the sale of Duragesic.
FDA has warned that fentanyl patches such as Duragesic pose a risk of accidental exposure to children, pets and adults.
The company Collegium Pharmaceutical (NSDQ:COLL) now sells Nucynta (tapentadol) and Nucynta ER.
Johnson & Johnson divested U.S. license rights for Nucynta-related products in 2015.