Indiana communities to receive $8.8M from next round of opioid settlement

The next round of opioid settlement funding distributed by the Office of the Attorney General will total $8.8 million, a portion of the roughly $925 million secured so far across various lawsuits.

Over the next two decades, tens of billions of dollars will flow into state coffers across the country. It’s all from the National Opioid Settlement, a court agreement between companies deemed responsible for the deadly, life-disrupting impact of the addictive drug and the localities bearing the brunt of the devastation.

“Hoosiers have seen far too many of our loved ones suffer and even die from opioid addiction and overdose,” Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a release. “Misconduct by drug companies helped start this epidemic in the first place, and it has played a large role in perpetuating the crisis. We can’t bring back lost lives, but we can hold these companies accountable and enable communities to use settlement funds on prevention, treatment and enforcement programs.”

Payments started going out in December of 2022, with more than $107 million in the first wave to the state and 648 local units of government. But municipalities have so far been slow to spend the funds, weighing the most effective way to deploy the monies.

In the release, Rokita’s office said a portion of this round of settlement funding came from a one-time payment from Publicis Health “to resolve investigations into the global marketing and communication firm’s role in the prescription opioid crisis. Publicis helped Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers market and sell opioids.”

Other settlements include AmerisourceBergen (now Cencora), Cardinal Health McKesson, Teva, Janssen, CVS and Allergan — though this round only included payments from AmerisourceBergen (Cencora) and Cardinal Health.

The Office of the Attorney General has more guidance on spending opioid settlement funds and localities can also find their expected payments over the next two decades. To see how communities have spent funds so far, Hoosiers can download the Fall 2023 report from Next Level Recovery.

By Whitney Downard – The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that covers state government, policy and elections.