AG Balderas Enters into Historic Settlement for Opioid Dollars, Will Continue to Push Toward Trial Against Remaining Bad Actors; Could Result in Millions of Dollars for Local Communities

For Immediate Release: December 7, 2021
Contact: Jerri Mares (505) 321-4372

Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas today announced that New Mexico will
join in an $18.5 billion nationwide settlement with the three largest distributors of opioid
medications in the United States. The three distributors who will pay into the settlement over the
next 18 years are McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health. In 2017 Attorney
General Balderas filed his lawsuit against the three companies, as well as against the
manufacturers that make opioids and the retail pharmacies that sell them. Several
manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, have filed for bankruptcy as a result of a nationwide
wave of litigation. New Mexico’s lawsuit is scheduled for trial against the remaining companies
in September 2022.
“The harm these companies caused by pouring millions of pills into our state while turning a
blind eye is nearly incalculable, these funds allow us to move forward and start to rebuild our
communities decimated by this crisis,” said Attorney General Balderas. “The current
appropriating process is too old and antiquated. I’m asking state leaders and local governments
to come up with an equitable split; we need to immediately get dollars into the hands of those on
the front lines battling this crisis.”
The amount of money allocated to New Mexico via the settlement largely depends on
participation in the settlement by New Mexico cities and counties as well as by state
government. The more local governments that participate, the more money will ultimately be
paid to New Mexico by the three distributors. City and county officials with questions about their
eligibility for this settlement or the sign-on process should contact the Attorney General’s Office.
Further details about the nationwide settlement can be found online at

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