AG Kaul Announces Plan to Join $26 Billion Proposed Opioid Settlements

Aug 18 2021

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced his intention to join historic settlements totaling $26 billion that will help bring much needed relief to those across the country struggling with opioid addiction. Last month, the proposed settlement agreements were circulated among states and local governments and Attorney General Kaul now intends for Wisconsin to join the settlements. States have a deadline of August 21, 2021, by which to indicate whether they intend to join, and local governments have an additional 120 days to indicate their intention. States and local governments will receive maximum payments if each state and its local governments join together in support of the agreement.


“To fight the opioid crisis as effectively as possible, our communities need resources to support critical treatment and prevention programs,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Moving forward with this agreement will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Wisconsin communities, significantly enhancing communities’ ability to take action to fight the opioid epidemic and making our communities safer.”

The agreements include Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Janssen,[1]  which manufactured and marketed opioids. The proposed agreements also require significant industry changes that will help prevent this type of crisis from ever happening again. The proposed agreements would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic. Depending on the number of states and local governments who join the agreements, Wisconsin stands to receive at least an estimated $400 million.


In March 2019, Attorney General Kaul joined a multistate investigation into the business practices of opioid distributors. For more than two years, assistant attorneys general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice have closely collaborated with other states to investigate the distributors and the role they played in fueling the opioid epidemic.


For additional information about the proposed settlement agreements, see


[1] Janssen includes Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ortho-McNeil-Jansen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc.