OHIO – Healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson says it’s reached a $20.4 million settlement agreement with two Ohio counties. This announcement comes just ahead of the first federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, which is scheduled for later this month.
The settlement keeps the pharmaceutical corporation out of the upcoming trial.
Johnson & Johnson will provide $10 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties as well as $5 million to reimburse legal and other expenses. The company will also give $5.4 million to non-profit groups in connection with opioid-related programs for both counties.
In 2017, Ohio had the nation’s second-highest per capita rate of fatal opioid overdoses, with 46.3 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While West Virginia had the highest rate at 57.8 per 100,000, the CDC also lists Louisiana as one of 23 states with statistically significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2016 to 2017.