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With the release of New Mexico, J&J has reached an opioid settlement

With the release of New Mexico, J&J has reached an opioid settlement

Johnson & Johnson said on Friday that it had agreed to pay $44 million to resolve claims that it fueled the opioid epidemic in New Mexico, a state which originally opted against participating in a nationwide settlement resolving tens of similar cases.

McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp, and Cardinal Health Inc. have agreed to pay up to $26 billion to resolve the cases nationally.

At that time, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas refused to take part in the settlements, but last month said the state would participate in J&J's $5 billion deal.

J&J agreed to pay New Mexico its share of the nationwide settlement in 2022 rather than over several years, if all of its cities and counties were signed by May 31.

"Opioids have destroyed civilian homes in New Mexico, and local communities and addiction professionals still need critical funding to save lives and combat this ongoing tragic epidemic," Balderas said in a statement.

More than 3,300 lawsuits have been filed against the federal and local governments, aimed at putting them in critical condition by claiming responsibility for an opioid epidemic that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths.

The amount of cash the companies must pay in the final $26 billion and the amount of litigation they will have to contend with depend on their participation in the state and local government.

Settlement supporters have extended the deadline for cities and counties in states that approved the proposal to opt-in to the agreements, citing the possibility for more states to join.

Nevada and Georgia have agreed to participate in this month, but six states have not agreed to collaborate with some or all of the four companies.

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