Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General

202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804-786-2071
FAX 804-786-1991
Virginia Relay Service
800-828-1120

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Victoria LaCivita
(804) 588-2021 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Attorney General Miyares Announces Drug Distributors and Johnson & Johnson Commit to $26 Billion Opioid Agreement

Virginia Expects to Receive Apprioximately $530 Million to Fight the Opioid Crisis

Richmond, VA -- Attorney General Jason Miyares announced today the final approval of the $26 billion opioid agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and Johnson & Johnson. Following successful state sign-on and subdivision sign-on periods, the defendants will start releasing funds to a national administrator on April 2, 2022. Money will start flowing to state and local governments in the second quarter of 2022.

“The opioid crisis has devasted many Virginia communities, families, and lives. The Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to this fight and is proud to have played a role in this historic settlement, which every city and county in Virginia joined. Because of this, the Commonwealth expects to receive approximately $530 million dollars to fight back against the opioid epidemic and support efforts to reduce, prevent and treat opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Miyares. 

The agreement marks the culmination of three years of negotiations to resolve more than 4,000 claims of state and local governments across the country. It is the second largest multistate agreement in U.S. history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. State negotiations were led by Attorneys General Josh Stein (NC) and Herbert Slatery (TN) and the attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Fifty-two states and territories have signed on to the agreement as well as thousands of local governments across the country. In Virginia, all 95 counties and all 38 independent cities have signed onto the agreement. As a result, Virginia expects to receive its full share of approximately $530 million. A majority of the funds will go to Virginia’s Opioid Abatement Authority, which provides grants and loans to Virginia agencies and localities to support efforts to reduce, prevent, and treat opioid use disorder and fight the opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic has touched lives in every county, city, and corner of the Commonwealth. This historic settlement will provide resources to help us fight back against opioid addiction and create lasting impact in our communities. It’s time to get to work,” said Senator Todd Pillion, Chair of the Opioid Abatement Authority.

In addition to the funds, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen will: 

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.
  • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
  • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

Johnson & Johnson is required to: 

  • Stop selling opioids.
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.

###