MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is expected to receive about $60 million from a proposed national settlement over the toll of prescription opioids, Attorney General T.J. Donovan said Wednesday.
The $26 billion deal calls for the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to pay up to $5 billion, in addition to billions more from the major national drug distribution companies. AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health are each to contribute $6.4 billion. McKesson is to pay $7.9 billion.
Donovan said the final terms of the settlement agreement are still under review.
The deal calls for at least 70% of the money to go to a list of abatement activities such as providing naloxone, a drug that reverses overdoses; helping house homeless people with addictions; or educating the public on the dangers of the drugs, among many other possibilities.
“Vermont will likely receive approximately $60 million, and it is imperative that some of this money be directed to local communities to abate the opioid crisis,” Donovan said in a written statement.
States — except West Virginia, which has already settled with the companies but could receive more through the deal — will have 30 days to approve the agreements.
In 2020, 157 Vermonters died of an opioid overdose, a 38% increase from 114 deaths in 2019.