Local communities are starting to receive money from settlements reached with companies that were involved in driving the opioid crisis.
Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced that they and other state attorneys general have agreed to a $450 million settlement with Pennsylvania-based opioid manufacturer Endo International.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, D-Pa, who is also running for Governor, said this brings the total amount in settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors nationwide up to $40.85 billion dollars, much of which is going back to local communities to try and combat the opioid crisis.
The largest of those agreements was finalized earlier this year when Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured generic opioid medications, and the nation’s three largest distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson agreed to pay a combined $26 billion over the span of 18 years, of which more than $1 billion is coming into Pennsylvania, where all 67 counties, and 241 local governments, will be allocated money from the agreement.
Some of that money is now starting to show up in local coffers. Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers said Wednesday that his office will be receiving $561,000 which will be used to provide treatment and programs for those addicted to opioids and other controlled substances.
The CDC says that last year, more than 107,600 Americans died from drug overdoses, the highest annual death toll on record.