Virginia Expects About $530 Million in Opioid Crisis Settlement from Drug Distributors and Johnson & Johnson

Virginia expects about $530 million in a settlement over the opioid crisis with Johnson & Johnson along with pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, according to a press release from the Office of the Attorney General. The companies announced Friday that there is enough participation by states, territories, and localities who were suing the drug companies to move forward with a national settlement, first announced in July 2021.

In his release, Attorney General Jason Miyares said, “The opioid crisis has devastated many Virginia communities, families, and lives. The Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to this fight and is proud to have played a role in this historic settlement, which every city and county in Virginia joined. Because of this, the Commonwealth expects to receive approximately $530 million dollars to fight back against the opioid epidemic and support efforts to reduce, prevent and treat opioid addiction.”

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Florida Governor DeSantis Praises $21 Billion Settlement to Combat Opioid Crisis

Governor Ron DeSantis praised a multi-state agreement between three of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the nation, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, worth $21 billion.

DeSantis also praised a separate agreement by Johnson and Johnson who will pay $5 billion over the next nine years. The agreements will aim to settle litigation regarding the opioid crisis in not only Florida, but the nation as a whole. 

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Nashville Government Dropped Nearly $10K on Celebratory Concert for Last Month’s Mass Vaccination

Nashville spent nearly $10,000 for 7 hours of live music, cheerleaders, and mascots to celebrate mass vaccinations with the now-suspended Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As The Tennessee Star reported, Mayor John Cooper announced these celebratory aspects of the mass vaccination two days before last month’s event.

According to an invoice obtained by The Star, these were costs incurred by “live music production event support.” The invoice didn’t offer any further details about those costs. The exact total came out to $9,836.47.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 72 Percent Effective, But Offers Weaker Protection Against New Strains

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that its coronavirus vaccine was 72% effective in combating COVID-19, but only 57% effective against a novel South African strain.

While slightly less effective than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, which were both approved by the FDA in December, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines provides significant distribution advantages that could be crucial in the nation’s fight against the virus. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, Pfizer’s vaccine is just one shot, and can be stored in refrigerators instead of freezers.

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NAACP Leader Criticizes Tennessee for Allocating Only Five Percent of Coronavirus Vaccine for Minorities

The Tennessee Department of Health is setting aside a portion of its COVID-19 vaccines for communities that are poorer and have more people of color, but one minority leader says that is not good enough.

After this current first phase, the state will reserve 5 percent of the vaccine for areas that are poorer and have higher numbers of minorities, CBS News reported.

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