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California could soon receive more than $2 billion from a national opioid settlement

Drug companies are close to a 26-billion dollar settlement that would put an end to thousands of lawsuits nationwide. Bonta negotiated with Johnson & Johnson and three other major drug companies.

California’s Attorney general and counterparts from other states had launched an investigation back in 2017 to figure out whether drug distributors did not properly crackdown on suspicious drug orders so they could continue to profit from the sales. Their complaint alleged Johnson & Johnson misled patients and doctors about the addictive nature of opioid drugs.

The drug companies have until next month to decide whether to finalize the settlement. Local governments that agree to the settlement terms could receive payments as early as April. Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay its portion of the settlement in July.

Bonta said a majority of funds will be used for opioid addiction treatment and education.