by Tyler Arnold
Virginia localities have begun receiving payments from an opioid-related settlement with three distributors, which are separate from the state funding and total more than $4 million in the first installment.
McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health agreed to pay the commonwealth and its localities about $530 million for allegedly being involved in higher overdose rates. Virginia will receive about $15 million and the Opioid Abatement Authority will receive more than $9.9 million in the first installment, in addition to the $4 million heading to localities.
None of the companies were forced to admit any fault, per the terms of the settlement.
“I’m thrilled to announce that after a long period of waiting, the payments to Virginia’s Opioid Abatement Authority and to Virginia’s localities under this landmark settlement are on the way,” Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a statement. “Now, Virginia communities will be able to take actionable steps to fight back against the opioid epidemic, knowing that more help is on the way.”
The specific funding for each locality was determined by a formula that considered overdose deaths and other health complications related to opioid abuse in a given locality. It also considered how much of the drug was sent to patients in those localities.
Some of the largest recipients are the commonwealth’s largest facilities, but the numbers do not strictly represent the population size.
Fairfax County is, by far, the largest recipient and will receive nearly 8.7% of the total allotment for localities. Virginia Beach will also receive a large portion, which is nearly 4.86%. Richmond City is third with more than 4.2% and Chesterfield County is fourth with nearly 4.09%. Prince William County will receive more than 3.5% of the funding and Chesapeake City will receive more than 2.9% of the funding.
Every other locality will receive less than 2% of the total funding.
“The opioid settlement represents the largest investment in local government in Virginia history and we are excited that these funds are now becoming available for localities to implement a bold strategy to remediate and abate the opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth,” Opioid Abatement Authority, Sen. Todd Pillion, R-Abingdon, said in a statement.
Localities and the commonwealth as a whole will receive additional payments from other companies involved in prescribing prescription opioids.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.
Photo “Jason Miyares” by Jason Miyares.