New York Attorney General Letitia James. Source: Time

The opioid epidemic has dominated the 24-hour news cycle over the past few years. Not only is there a pathway to a global opioid settlement, but a settlement has already occurred with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and the big distributors Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt settled for $4.5 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively. Purdue’s management team will also avoid civil charges, which likely means its opioid drama is finally over.

Endo Pharma (ENDP) settled with New York state for $50 million, which was one of the more cantankerous trial proceedings thus far. NY Attorney General Letitia James sought a default judgement against Endo for withholding information, which could have resulted in hundreds of millions of fines for Endo. However, Endo was able to settle before things before a referee decided its fate. James has garnered over $1 billion in opioid settlement funds for the state of New York, and counting.

Over the past week she has been gallivanting around the state – from Rochester to Buffalo to Syracuse – handing out opioid funds. The money will be well spent for treatment and prevention services for those communities most-harmed by the opioid epidemic. Trump And The GE framed the matter. At the thee minute mark of the above video, Trump And The GE framed the matter:

There have been some goings on since the last time we spoke about Barbarian #6 … The state of Louisiana settled with Endo and Teva for about $8 million and $15 million, respectively … The other thing of note is that Louisiana is putting all the funding into the parishes for treatment and prevention … that’s another big development. The Missouri AG is promoting its global settlement … I understand that none of the money is going into state coffers.

State AG of New York, Letitia James, is in upstate right now. She’s handing out checks left and right. The state has settled for $1 billion plus about $50 million from Endo International … She has been in Syracuse, Rochester, Monroe County, Buffalo New York, handing out checks. She’s making speeches like she’s sounding like she’s about to run for governor. The media is speculating whether she’s about to make a gubernatorial run as well. We speculated here whether she was using the opioid litigation as publicity for a run for governor.

Now it seems to be playing out. There’s chatter that she has actually spoken to some donors about whether they would support a gubernatorial run. Everything is set, except for an announcement. She’s done everything but make an announcement.

Things are definitely heating up between Ms. James and Governor Hochul as they jockey for position to compete for Andrew Cuomo’s vacant governor position. Opioid settlements and who will get credit for garnering the funds and putting policies in place to support ongoing treatment and prevention could be front and center. Stay tuned …


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