Idaho cities

Idaho Cities, Counties Consider Joining State In Opioid Settlement

Two national opioid regulations could net Idaho millions of dollars for addiction and mental health services.

Local entities have until early January to join the state in agreements with opioid maker Johnson & Johnson and three major opioid distributors.

Idaho has sued several drug companies for their role in the opioid addiction crisis. Johnson & Johnson agreed to the $ 26 billion settlement this summer, but denies any wrongdoing, according to an NPR report. Still, the deal means J&J will no longer be making opioids.

Idaho joined the settlements in September, and they could bring in $ 120 million to the state, over 18 years.

“This money will be used to reduce the effects of opioid withdrawal and addiction, and the challenges our first responders and law enforcement have faced,” said Brett DeLange, assistant attorney general for Idaho.

For Idaho to receive the full allocation, enough cities and counties must sign so that 60% of the state’s population is covered in settlements. If there is not enough involvement, the more local organizations that sign on to the agreement, the more money the state receives.

Twenty cities and counties in Idaho are participating so far, last week. Twin Falls City Council decided to sign on Monday.

“The City of Twin Falls certainly believes this Negotiated Settlement Agreement is certainly in the best interests of not only our city, but all local governments,” said City Attorney Shayne Nope.

He said that’s because, compared to the standard settlement agreement, Idaho negotiated for more of the funds to go directly to the local level. 40% of the allocation will go to the state, 40% to participating counties and cities and 20% to public health districts.

J&J could make its first payment next summer.

Idaho continues to enter into agreements with other manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma.

Find journalist Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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