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Idaho to receive $119 million in opioid settlement

49 states in total have signed on to the agreement
Opioids
Opioids(Gray)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 12:46 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The state of Idaho will receive $119 million as part of a multi-billion dollar settlement with the nation’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors.

An Ada County judge approved the settlement on Wednesday that all 44 counties, 24 municipalities and seven health districts in the state have signed on to. The state could get its first payment in the coming weeks.

“Opioid and substance misuse is one of America’s – and Idaho’s – growing problems. Idaho has made significant strides in recent years in combatting the opioid crisis, and the culmination of our legal action against opioid manufacturers – led by Attorney General Wasden and his team – now offers additional resources,” Governor Little said.

“Altogether, our investments and activities will turn the tide on the opioid crisis. Our coordination and focused efforts will bring about better education and prevention, more effective alternatives for pain, improved treatment options, and coordinated and enhanced mental health resources,” he continued.

49 states in total have signed on to the agreement, which is the second largest consumer settlement in state history behind the 1998 national tobacco settlement.

The settlement resolves more than 4,000 claims of local and state governments nationwide. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden issued a statement following the news Friday morning.

“This settlement holds some of those most responsible for the opioid crisis accountable and provides significant funding for treatment, recovery and prevention in Idaho,” Wasden said.

“These funds will be a huge asset to our state as it continues its recovery from the opioid crisis. I want to thank Governor Little and members of the Legislature for working closely with my office to ensure that these funds will help us move forward toward a healthier future for Idaho citizens. I also want to thank participating counties and cities, as well as the members of my team who worked so hard to execute this incredibly important settlement,” he continued.

The funds received from the settlement must be spent on opioid remediation programs. 40% of those funds will be going directly to participating counties and cities, 20% will go towards regional public health districts, and the remaining 40% will be allocated to the State-Directed Opioid Settlement fund appropriated by the Idaho legislature.

Twin Falls Rural Fire, North Cassia Fire, and Minidoka County Fire were identified as special districts in the settlement.

As part of the settlement, the three largest pharmaceutical distributors, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen will:

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors;
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies;
  • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
  • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders;
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders; and
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

Meanwhile, Johnson and Johnson will be required to:

  • Stop selling opioids;
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids;
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids; and
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.

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