Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that he has 30 days to review and sign on to a deal that would bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the commonwealth to fight the opioid epidemic.
The nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $26 billion settlement. If approved, Kentucky would receive $460 million. Cardinal, McKesson AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson would have 18 years to pay.
State and local governments may use proceeds for prevention and treatment efforts.
“Today’s announcement marks the end of a long and hard-fought negotiation to ensure that opioid distributors are held accountable for their role in the opioid crisis and that the commonwealth receives needed funds for opioid abatement programs,” said Attorney General Cameron.
The Kentucky League of Cities helped broker House Bill 427, a measure legislators passed in the 2021 session that requires 50% of Kentucky’s settlement go to city and county governments.
Senate President Robert Stivers called it a “significant day” in the fight against opioids.
“The more than $460 million will be crucial as we continue to fight this epidemic at both the state and local levels. I appreciate the efforts of the attorney general and his staff as well as the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky League of Cities in reaching this important agreement,” Stivers said.
During a meeting last month, the KLC Board of Directors voted to continue legislative efforts to help cities find solutions to the impacts of substance abuse.