AG Yost announces $808 million opioid settlement

The three largest opioid distributors, Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen, have signed a $808 million settlement with Ohio, putting the state at the front of the line to receive monetary relief for communities impacted by addiction and the opioid crisis.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost made the announcement Thursday and called it a “historic day for Ohio.”

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“With this resolution, we have some important controls and monitoring provisions in place to help protect Ohioans and its communities from the reckless distribution and over-prescriptions that we have seen in previous years,” Yost said in a release.

Yost said impacted cities and counties could start receiving monetary compensation as soon as November.

The settlement, Yost announced, is scheduled to be paid over 18 years, requiring continuous and annual payments.

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Yost announced that 85 percent of the settlement money is targeted for local distribution:

  • 55 percent goes to a foundation created to disburse the money and fund programs that benefit Ohioans affected by opioids and/or prevent addiction
  • 30 percent is earmarked for community recovery programs at the local level
  • 15 percent goes to the state of Ohio

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The settlement also requires that the companies to:

  • 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 suspicious opioid orders and report such suspicious orders.
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.