Jan. 5—Philadelphia has announced its initial plans for an estimated $200 million that it will receive over 18 years from Johnson and Johnson, Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health and McKessen — part of a settlement in a nationwide lawsuit distributing funds to communities around the country affected by the opioid crisis.
According to the state attorney general's office, Pennsylvania can expect more than $2 billion in opioid settlement funding from various lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors, consulting groups, and pharmacies. And that total negotiated by the office doesn't include potential funds from suits that counties and cities have filed on their own, outside of the attorney general's suits.
Here's a breakdown of what Philadelphia and its suburban counties expect to receive. This list will be updated as more information is shared and settlement money disbursed.
City officials announced on Jan. 5 how they will distribute the first $20 million payout in the Johnson and Johnson suit. Funds will go to a several community-based initiatives aimed at helping people in addiction and supporting Philadelphia communities grappling with an overdose epidemic that killed a record 1,276 people in the city in 2021. Among the initiatives are mobile methadone vans that can get people quickly into addiction treatment and funding to help repair homes and parks in Kensington, the neighborhood most affected by the opioid crisis.
Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner initially opposed then-Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro's settlement negotiations in the Johnson and Johnson suit, saying the payout was too low. But Kenney eventually signed on to the settlement. Krasner has sued Shapiro over it, saying the attorney general's office couldn't settle on his office's behalf. His office still has a lawsuit pending against opioid distributors Amerisource Bergen, McKesson, and Cardinal Health.
In 2017, Delaware County became the first county in Pennsylvania to file a lawsuit against opioid distributors and manufacturers, said county solicitor William Martin. That meant the county participated in "full litigation," Martin said, including the discovery process — and so will receive about $56 million from three opioid and drug manufacturer Johnson and Johnson, as well as another $13 million to cover costs from its litigation.
Like several other suburban Philadelphia counties, Delaware County's district attorney filed his own lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.
Martin said the county is also expecting to receive funds from a $13 billion settlement in lawsuits against CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, as well as a $4 to $6 billion settlement from drug companies Teva and Allergan. The exact funding Delaware County will receive from those settlements is still unclear.
Delaware County also expects to receive funds from the bankruptcy proceedings from pharmaceutical companies Purdue and Mallinckrodt, and plans to submit a claim in the Endo Pharmaceuticals bankruptcy as well. They still have legal claims remaining against Rite Aid, Martin said.
The district attorney's office in Bucks County has received its first payment from its own $4.5 million settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors, a spokesperson for the office said. The office also has litigation pending against other manufacturers who have not yet settled, and also plans to receive funds from the recent pharmacy settlements.
The county itself, separate from the district attorney's office, expects to receive about $45 million over 18 years from its own lawsuit, according to a press release from the county. County officials say a top priority is to spend $900,000 on a behavioral health crisis center in Doylestown, the county seat, as well as to expand naloxone distribution and fund housing for women and children.
Montgomery County has set up a "multi-agency group" to develop a spending plan for approximately $35 million in funds that it will receive as part of a settlement between opioid distributors and J&J, said county spokesperson Kelly CoFrancisco.
Among the county's plans are the opening of a behavioral health crisis center and enhancing the county's overdose response team. That team sends a specially trained paramedic and a certified recovery specialist to respond to overdose cases in the county.
"Current funding permits only one team for the county, but we hope to be able to use some of the settlement funds to increase the number of MCORT teams and in-service hours for the program," said Alvin Wang, the county's chief medical officer, in an email.
The Chester County District Attorney expects to receive $3.7 million from the Johnson and Johnson suit; the county as a whole will receive $19.7 million over 18 years. County commissioners said in September that they plan to use the funds to support prevention programs, opioid addiction treatment, and help for parents with addiction and babies exposed to opioids in utero, among other goals.
The county is currently deciding whether to participate in national settlements with other opioid manufacturers and distributors, officials there say.
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