Gov. Little, Attorney General Wasden announce intent to join national opioid settlements

Tuesday August 24, 2021

Settlements total $26 billion, including up to $119 million for Idaho

(Boise, Idaho) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Governor Brad Little have announced their intention to have Idaho join two national opioid settlements, totaling up to $26 billion.

One settlement involves opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. The other involves opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

The settlements include up to $119 million for Idaho and its counties and cities.

Idaho’s local political subdivisions will be offered the opportunity to join in the settlements. Their joining now will maximize the benefit of these settlements with most of the money going to expert-approved opioid abatement strategies.

The settlements are contingent upon enough other states also joining the agreement. That decision is expected to be announced in early September.

“These settlements will lead to programs that will help Idahoans dealing with opioid-related addiction, particularly if cities and counties act now,” Wasden said. “It is my judgment that it is in the State of Idaho’s best interests to join. I urge our local subdivisions to join the state so we can maximize our recovery and enable them to receive benefits under the settlements in order to take care of our citizens.”

“I applaud Attorney General Wasden and his deputies who represented Idaho’s interests in these lawsuits and worked hard to maximize Idaho’s share of the settlement proceeds. We are committed to combatting substance misuse in Idaho and believe this settlement will help reduce the considerable threats to the well-being and safety of our citizens posed by the opioid crisis. I join the Attorney General in urging local subdivisions to join the settlement and to cooperate with all stakeholders to ensure the funds Idaho will receive are best used for abating the opioid crisis in Idaho,” Governor Little said.

As part of the settlements, opioid distributors would also create a nationwide clearinghouse to identify and report suspicious activity in the opioid distribution system.

The Office of the Attorney General continues to pursue its separate claims against manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt, Teva and Endo. Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt are in bankruptcy court. Both are expected to emerge from bankruptcy in the coming months and provide additional dollars for opioid abatement in Idaho.

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