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Kentucky to receive $460 million in opioid settlement agreement

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced today that Kentucky will receive an estimated $460 million settlement from opioid distributors as part of a $26 billion multi-state agreement between opioid distributors and state attorneys general.

“Today’s announcement brings hope and help in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” Cameron said. “No state was harder hit than Kentucky, and there will be a long process in terms of getting our people healed.”

Four distributors are involved in the settlement, which will make total payouts of nearly $26 billion over the next 18 years.

Johnson & Johnson will contribute $5 billion during a five-year span, whereas the other three entities, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson will contribute their $21 billion in payments during an 18-year period.

The settlement funding will be split in half, with 50 percent of funding going directly to counties and cities and the other 50 percent being set aside to support the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission.

Cameron was joined by county leaders from across Kentucky, including KACo President and Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor, Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore, Kenton County Attorney Stacey Tapke and Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield.

Judge Moore, as the most recent President of the National Association of Counties, played a pivotal role in the development of the settlement – and making sure Kentucky counties were well represented.  

“What has been said here today about maximizing the amount of money that will come to Kentucky families, to those impacted, to those that need the resources – by bringing everyone together and having this settlement in place, we are going to receive the maximum,” Moore said.

Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor also recognized the significance of today’s announcement.

“On behalf of Madison County, also on behalf of the Kentucky Association of Counties, and the 120 counties across the Commonwealth; today marks a huge step in our fight to bring – in a small way – justice to the communities across the Commonwealth that have been so devastatingly impacted by the horrific effects of this drug epidemic,” Taylor said.

A report published by the Centers for Disease Control estimates that opioid use disorders and fatal opioid overdoses cost the U.S. more than $1 billion in 2017. The per capita cost of opioid abuse in Kentucky alone is estimated to be nearly $5,500 – one of the highest per capita costs of any state.  

“There isn’t a city or a county in this entire Commonwealth that hasn’t been impacted in some way by this opioid epidemic,” Tapke said. “Parents have lost children, and children have lost parents. The one bright spot in this dark period has been the way that Kentuckians have united together to combat this epidemic.”



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