Opioid Settlement Update: Funds Coming into the State

Posted Apr 14, 2023, by Paul Fedore

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Last year, Governor Shapiro and his team were hard at work claiming opioid settlement money for the state and the rest of the country in his role as Attorney General. Today, settlement funds total out nationally to about $54.07 billion. Out of that, Pennsylvania will receive $2.2 billion over a period ranging from 10-18 years. These funds will be put into the Opioid Settlement Restricted Account, an account managed by the state that holds the share of opioid-related settlement money coming into Pennsylvania. These funds may be used if appropriated by the General Assembly.

The payments are the result of a multistate investigation led by Attorneys General across the country, including our now Governor Josh Shapiro. It investigated manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies’ role in the epidemic that has been fueled by pharmaceutical companies. The overall determination of the cases is that the opioid painkillers and the prescriptions were mishandled and misused by these companies. The funds that state and local governments are receiving from these settlements are intended to help support the mitigation of overdoses and to help with the distribution of resources and the construction of facilities  to help combat the epidemic. What follows is a quick breakdown of the settlement funds and where they are coming from.

The State Local Agreement allocates 15% of opioid settlement funds to the state, 70% to counties, and 15% to litigating subdivisions. The Pennsylvania Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement Trust was also established through this agreement in order to receive, disburse, and oversee funds from the settlements. The Trust is governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees, who are responsible for receiving and investing settlement money, reviewing local government certifications and reports, disbursing settlement shares to the state and local governments, and preparing a public annual report. State and local governments are required to use settlement funds to expand harm reduction and treatment services. You can find more details about guidelines on how the settlement money can be utilized here.

Washington County has already received an initial payment of $2.6 million from the Johnson & Johnson settlement and is set to receive an additional $11.5 million over the next 18 years for a grand total of $14,203,728. Also from the Johnson & Johnson settlement, Greene County has received an initial payment of $332,920 and is set to receive an additional $1,435,000 over the next 18 years, totaling $1,767,920. You can find more information about this settlement here.

On Thursday, March 16th, the Washington County Commissioners agreed to receive settlement funds from the CVS, Walgreens and Walmart settlement. From this national settlement, the state of Pennsylvania is set to receive $217 million over the next 10 years from CVS and $236 million over the next 15 years from Walgreens. Walmart will pay most of their $3.1 billion in the first year. State and local governments will have to sign on to accept and receive these funds. You can find a chart of those deadlines for the participation process here. Follow the links to view the national payment flow for CVS, Walgreens and Walmart

In addition to the financial settlement, these companies have agreed to a court-ordered injunctive relief that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions, which is meant to help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again.

CCJ is following these funds and advocating for continued transparency with the spending of these and future funds, as well as involving community members in the decision making process. To date, neither county has a finalized plan for the funds they have already received. We will be watching for updates and providing new information as we receive it. 

For further information or if you would like to be involved in the decision making process when it comes time for that, please contact me, CCJ’s Field Program Coordinator Paul at 724-229-3550 or paul@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.


  • Paul Fedore

    Paul Fedore has been a resident of Washington County for four years and previously worked with Washington County United, a chapter of PA United, as a canvasser fighting for economic, environmental, and racial justice. He loves camping, hiking, fishing, and boating. Paul joined CCJ’s team in July 2020 as the Field Program Coordinator to help deepen and strengthen our relationships with communities in southwestern Pennsylvania and to ensure that people have a pathway to engage in improving their communities. He is excited to work with everyone to hold fossil fuel companies and our elected officials accountable and to organize to build power in our small towns and rural communities. Contact Paul at paul@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

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