As of January 26th, all 67 Pennsylvania counties have joined the $26 billion settlement agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson – over the companies’ role in creating and fueling the nationwide opioid crisis. This settlement will allocate funding to the states and local communities that this crisis has most impacted. The states that will be receiving funds from the settlement are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Each county will receive its share through an initial payment this year and through additional consecutive payments spread over the course of the next 18 years. In total, the state of Pennsylvania will be receiving $1.07 billion from the settlement. From that amount, 15% will go to the state, 70% will go to its counties, and 15% will go to government entities. These funds could start to flow into our communities as soon as April. Washington County will receive an initial payment of $2,674,728 and $11,529,000 over the next 18 years, for a grand total of $14,203,728. Greene County will receive an initial payment of $332,920 and $1,435,000 over the next 18 years, totaling $1,767,920. If you live in another Pennsylvania county, you can find out how much your county will receive here.
The amount counties receive is based on metrics that measure the severity of the crisis in categories such as overdose deaths, rate of opioid use disorder hospitalizations, naloxone administrations, and opioids dispensed. So, the communities hit the hardest will receive more than those that are less impacted.
Although no money will ever bring back any of our losses throughout this crisis, this settlement is a significant win for the communities that have been hardest hit. These funds will get us one step closer to the resources and programs our communities need to help lower overdose and overdose fatality rates state-wide.
The Center for Coalfield Justice is a strong advocate for the Harm Reduction resources these funds could bring into our communities. We will be watching the movement of these funds closely and helping impacted residents become part of the decision-making process so that we can have a voice in ensuring that the funds are used efficiently and effectively to combat the opioid crisis and to help those who have been adversely affected.
For more information on the settlement or how to get involved, please contact CCJ’s Field Coordinator Paul Fedore at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-229-3550 Ext 8.