AG Shapiro Announces 10 More Counties Sign On To Billion Dollar Opioid Settlement

January 5, 2022 | Topic: Opioids

60 Counties So Far Have Signed On To Historic Settlement, Funds Begin Flowing in April 2022

HARRISBURGAttorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that 10 more Pennsylvania counties have signed on to the historic national opioid settlement, bringing the total to 60 out of 67 counties across the Commonwealth. Those 10 counties include: Blair, Centre, Crawford, Cumberland, Lycoming, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Somerset, and Sullivan.

“I am encouraged to see so many counties signing on to this historic settlement that will bring millions of dollars in resources as soon as next year to combat this crisis. There is still time for the remaining local governments to join and I urge them to do so. This settlement will give communities the ability and resources to save lives now,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The $26 billion global settlement with Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen—the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors—and Johnson & Johnson was announced in July. The national sign-on deadline for local governments was recently extended from Jan. 2 to Jan. 26, providing a grace period for local governments to hold necessary meetings in order to vote on joining the settlement. This grace period does not impact the timeline for money to start flowing to participating states and local governments.

“The opioid epidemic has destroyed families and communities. It’s dashed the bright futures of loved ones. In their memory and in their honor we can provide help and opportunities to those struggling now. The Opioid Settlement led by Attorney General Shapiro gives us hope and renews our mission to heal together. The Settlement enables Centre County and so many other rural communities across the Commonwealth to deliver targeted prevention, enhanced treatment, and deeper compassion to those who need it most. Let’s never doubt Pennsylvania’s resiliency and determination to help those in need,” said Michael Pipe, Chair, Centre County Board of Commissioners.

“Resources provided by the settlement will allow Cumberland County to continue to combat the opioid crisis,” said Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger. “In the past five years, 297 deaths due to opioid overdoses have been recorded in Cumberland County, and more than 113 of those deaths occurred since the onset of COVID. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our residents struggling with opioid addiction. As we continue to fight the opioid battle, we will be able to use the funding to save lives. Cumberland County and its municipalities with more than 10,000 residents are proud to join in on this historic settlement.”

While it is up to local governments who have signed on to the settlement to decide where the funds will ultimately be allocated, the settlement stipulates that dollars received must be used to combat the opioid crisis. A list of approved opioid remediation uses can be found in Exhibit E of the Janssen settlement agreement. The remaining 7 counties and outstanding subdivisions have until January 26 to sign on and are urged to do so as soon as possible.

The following counties have joined the settlement agreement: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, and York.

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