Following her office’s announcement of a $26 billion resolution with the nation’s three largest drug distributors which manufactured and marketed opioids – Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – as well as Johnson & Johnson, Attorney General Maura Healey recently joined with mayors and municipal and health care leaders from across the state and families harmed by opioids to celebrate $525 million that has been secured for prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery programs throughout Massachusetts.
As part of the resolution, which was first announced in July 2021, municipalities across the country were eligible to sign-on to receive settlement funds to abate the opioid crisis in their communities. On April 5, 2022, Healey announced that, because of widespread support from cities and towns, Massachusetts will receive the maximum amount under the settlements. In addition, as the result of an agreement secured by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, all of the funds will go toward abatement resources for communities and families to address the devastating impact of the opioid crisis throughout the state.
“Massachusetts led the nation in taking on the opioid industry, and we will lead the nation in delivering prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery,” said Healey. “Cities and towns across our state worked together to secure more than half a billion dollars, and we are committed to using every dollar to provide the services that families need.”
Under the terms of the settlements, more than $525 million will be coming into Massachusetts over the next 18 years starting this spring. Of that, more than $210 million will be distributed directly to Massachusetts municipalities, and more than $310 million will go into the statewide Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund to ensure that funds are spent on harm reduction, treatment and prevention. These settlements are the result of an investigation that found that three major opioid distributors shipped thousands of suspicious orders without regard for their legitimacy and that Johnson & Johnson misled patients and doctors about their addictive nature. The first two annual payments due under the settlements are expected to flow into the state this spring and summer. From 2023 through 2038, the payments are expected annually in July.
Statements of Support
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu
“Our administration will be working closely with public health experts and the recovery community to ensure every dollar of this funding delivers impact. As we continue to make progress on the intertwined issues of homelessness, mental health, and the opiate crisis, these resources will help broaden our reach.”
Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn
“The opioid crisis has caused immense financial and emotional pain for countless families throughout the Commonwealth. The funds that Attorney General Healey was able to secure will have a tremendous impact on all those affected by the opioid epidemic and provide critical resources and tools to help aid in their recovery.”
Melrose Mayor Paul Brodeur
“I’m beyond grateful to Attorney General Healey for her steadfast leadership in combatting the opioid epidemic. From the very beginning of the investigation, it has been an honor to work with her office and my fellow Mayors in our effort to further substance abuse prevention in the state of Massachusetts. I look forward to the future progress we will be able to make with this funding.”
Cheryl Juaire, founder of Team Sharing
“Team Sharing, which is a nation-wide non-profit organization that provides support for families who have lost loved ones to opioid abuse, is very pleased that opioid defendants like the distributors and Johnson & Johnson are starting to pay for their inappropriate behavior. While no amount of money will ever be enough to clean up what has happened, and there is no dollar figure that will make up for the loss of a loved one, we appreciate the diligent and tireless efforts of Attorney General Maura Healey and her office to hold wrongdoers accountable by providing substantial funds to compensate personal injury victims and abate the opioid crisis. It is our sincere hope that a significant amount of the money received by our state will be distributed to on-the-ground services, such as harm reduction centers and recovery support organizations. We stand today with Attorney General Healey in our continuing efforts to do whatever we can against the worst man-made epidemic of our lifetime.”
Maryanne Frangules, executive director of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery
“We know that no amount of money can take away the pain of suffering the unnecessary loss of a loved one to this tragedy. ‘Medicine’ is supposed to help, not be the cause of death. We wholeheartedly honor Attorney General Maura Healey and her team for persistence of justice for all who have suffered.”
Dr. Charles Anderson, president and CEO of the Dimock Center
“At the Dimock Center we operate a full continuum of care from detox to residential recovery and outpatient assisted treatment for those battling Opioid Use Disorder. The funding of recovery services from this settlement is a critical part of the scaffolding required to restore hope for the many families whose lives have been destroyed by this epidemic.”