Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

Attorney General Doug Peterson Announces Final Approval of the $26 Billion Opioid Agreement with Major Drug Distributors

Nebraska to Receive $100 Million to Fight Opioid Crisis 

Lincoln--Attorney General Doug Peterson announced today the final approval of the $26 billion opioid agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and Johnson & Johnson. Money is anticipated to start flowing to state and local governments in July 2022.  

“The Nebraska Coalition to End Opioid Misuse has been working and are actively preparing to provide these settlement funds to be used to bring treatment to those suffering from opioid addiction—funds intended to be used to bring healing and hope,” stated Attorney General Peterson.

The agreement marks the culmination of three years of negotiations to resolve more than 4,000 claims of state and local governments across the country. It is the second largest multistate agreement in U.S. history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. State negotiations were led by Attorneys General Josh Stein (NC) and Herbert Slatery (TN) and the attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Fifty-two states and territories have signed on to the agreement as well as thousands of local governments across the country. In Nebraska all 93 counties as well as 16 municipalities have signed on to these two agreements. As a result, Nebraska and its counties and municipalities will receive their full share of over $100 million over 18 years. Per the terms of these agreements, eighty-five percent of these funds will go to the Nebraska Opioid Recovery Fund established by the enactment of the Opioid Prevention and Treatment Act in 2020. The remaining fifteen percent of these funds will be sent by the National Administrator to the 93 counties and 16 municipalities that signed on to these agreements.  Whether direct funds or funds disbursed from the Opioid Recovery Fund, all monies from these settlements will be used for treatment, prevention, and other evidence-based strategies to abate opioid use disorder and any co-occurring substance use disorder or mental health conditions throughout Nebraska.  

In addition to the funds, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen will: 

  • 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 and report suspicious opioid orders.
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

Johnson & Johnson is required to: 

  • Stop selling opioids.
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.