By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Each of Idaho’s 44 counties and 24 eligible cities will participate in national opioid regulations, potentially bringing in $ 119 million to the state, the Republican attorney general said on Monday. Idaho, Lawrence Wasden.
He said counties and cities had agreed to sign the $ 26 billion deals involving America’s three largest drug distribution companies and drug maker Johnson & Johnson. The money would help repair the damage caused by opioids, which the federal government declared a public health emergency in 2017.
Wasden and Republican Gov. Brad Little announced in August that the state would accept the deal and become eligible for a minimum of $ 64 million. State involvement paved the way for local government entities to participate, and everyone who qualifies has now done so, bringing the amount of money potentially destined for Idaho to around $ 119 million.
“This level of participation shows the strong commitment of state and local governments to work together to get the most money to fight the opioid epidemic in Idaho,” Wasden said in a statement.
Idaho’s Drug Overdose Prevention Program, established in 2016 to increase awareness of opioid use and prevent overdoses, said opioid overdose deaths have generally increased in recent decades, going from just over 20 deaths per year in 2000 to 123 in 2016 and 116 in 2017.
“The opioid crisis is claiming lives and destroying families in Idaho,” Little said in June 2019 when he signed an executive order to tackle opioid and substance abuse by creating the Advisory Group on Opioid and Substance Abuse. opioids to review strategies.
The nationwide deadline for local governments to agree to the agreements is January 26, and enough registration is required for the regulations to take effect. An announcement in February is expected on whether the threshold has been reached, Wasden said. If reached, participants could see their first payments in April.
By signing the national settlement, the government entities agree to drop their own lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.
For Idaho, the $ 22 million payment to Johnson & Johnson would be spread over nine years. The payment of $ 98 million to drug distributors would be spread over 18 years.
According to the agreement, 40% of the money will go to participating counties and cities, and 20% to regional public health districts.
The remaining 40% would go to the state-run opioid settlement fund, created by lawmakers earlier this year and promulgated by Little. The Idaho legislature would appropriate money from the fund based on recommendations from the Idaho Behavioral Health Council, which is part of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Settlement agreements, in addition to payments, include increased accountability and oversight for drug companies, changes to the way prescriptions are dispensed and sold, independent oversight, a national database to help stop drug shipments. opioids to pharmacies where abuse occurs, and a Johnson & Johnson ban on selling or promoting opioids.
No deal has been reached with Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin and the company most closely associated with opioids.
Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy settlement of thousands of lawsuits over the opioid epidemic over a provision that would protect members of the billionaire Sackler family, owner of the company, opioid-related civil lawsuits.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.