Attorney General Slatery: Opioid Distributors and Johnson & Johnson Commit to $26 Billion Agreement

Tennessee to receive over $600 million to fight the opioid crisis
Friday, February 25, 2022 | 10:33am

Nashville- Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III 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. Following successful state sign-on and subdivision sign-on periods, the defendants will start releasing funds to a national administrator on April 2, 2022. Money will start flowing to state and local governments in the second quarter of 2022.

“Help is on the way,” said General Slatery. “Our objective – and the reason we have aggressively held these companies accountable from the start- is to abate the crisis in Tennessee by providing direct assistance to those hit the hardest. We are grateful to our AG colleagues and our state and local leaders for their help and cooperation.”

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 H. Slatery III (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 Tennessee, more than 150 local governments have joined the settlements, including every county and all cities with populations of 25,000 or more. As a result, Tennessee will receive its full share of over $600 million over 18 years.

For more detailed information on what the settlement means for Tennessee, click here: Opioid Settlements (

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. 


#22-05:  Attorney General Slatery: Opioid Distributors and Johnson & Johnson Commit to $26 Billion Agreement