DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday the state is part of a $26 billion settlement aimed to bring relief to people struggling with opioid addiction.
The settlement includes the nation's three major pharmaceutical distributors, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson.
In addition to the settlement, the agreement requires significant industry changes that will help prevent a similar crisis to the opioid one moving forward.
Weiser was part of a bipartisan group of attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
This agreement would resolve the claims of the states and nearly 4,000 local governments across the county that have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts against the pharmaceutical companies.
From Wednesday, July 21, participating states have 30 days to sign onto the deal. From there, local governments in the states will have an opportunity to sign on.
Colorado stands to receive at least $300 million to address the state's opioid crisis if local governments also agree to the deal, according to Weiser. This would be on top of the previous opioid settlements that are set to generate roughly $100 million for the state.
According to data released by the CDC this past week, drug overdose deaths rose to 93,000 nationwide in 2020. That's nearly a 30% increase compared to 2019. In Colorado, 1,512 people died from an opioid overdose in 2020.
For more on the agreement, click here.