The $26 billion settlement of a lawsuit by a coalition of states against Johnson and Johnson and three other companies could mean a $216 million payment to Arkansas, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said today.
Arkansas was among a large group of states in the lawsuit and they have 30 days to decide to accept the deal. Rutledge anticipates Arkansas will take it. Local governments have 150 days to sign on.
The ultimate amount of payouts by the companies will hinge on how many governments agree to suspend their opioid lawsuits.
Late Wednesday a coalition of private attorneys representing many of the state and local governments suing the four firms endorsed the settlement.
Rutledge said the $216 million payment to Arkansas, payable over 18 years, would depend on all local governments being on board. Rutledge said a “substantial majority” of the money would be spent on opioid treatment and prevention.
She details the agreement here. Among others, Johnson and Johnson will get out of the opioid business.
State funding is determined by a formula considering overdose deaths in a state, the number of residents with substance abuse problems and opioids prescribed on a per capita basis. Arkansas has been a leading abuser of the drugs.