At least six U.S. states, including Georgia, did not fully sign on to a proposed $26 billion settlement with three drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson – which have been accused of fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic – according to the states’ attorneys general.

U.S. states are racing to meet a deadline to commit to a $26 billion opioid settlement with three drug distributors and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, as some grapple with local resistance and concerns the amount is not large enough to address the damage done by an epidemic of addiction.

A group of state attorneys general unveiled on July 21 a landmark $26 billion settlement with large drug companies for allegedly fueling the deadly nationwide opioid epidemic, but the deal still requires support from thousands of local governments.

With a $26 billion nationwide settlement in sight over claims that the three largest U.S. drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson helped fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic, state and local governments will soon turn their attention to pharmacies and a handful of drugmakers.

The three largest U.S. drug distributors agreed mid-trial to pay up to $1.18 billion to settle claims by New York state and two of its biggest counties over their role in the nationwide opioid epidemic, the state’s attorney general said on July 20.

New York took Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and other companies – including the largest drug distributors in the United States – to trial on June 29, seeking to hold them liable for fueling an opioid crisis that has caused nearly half a million U.S. deaths over a decade.

The three largest U.S. drug distributors, facing their first trial over claims that they fueled the opioid crisis, said responsibility for ballooning painkiller sales lies with doctors, drugmakers and regulators.

Four drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., will go to trial on April 19 over claims they helped fuel an opioid crisis that has resulted in nearly 500,000 overdose deaths in the United States.

Three major U.S. drug distributors requested the government to expand the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain network as the country strives to immunize its population against the novel coronavirus as quickly as possible.

Johnson & Johnson’s newly authorized Covid-19 vaccine started shipping and the company’s top executive said on March 1 that Americans should be able to receive the single-dose shot within 24 to 48 hours, adding a third vaccine in the United States.