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State announces major settlement with opioid manufacturers

Isabel Braverman
Posted 7/27/21

NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James last week announced an agreement that will deliver up to $1.1 billion to New York State to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic.

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State announces major settlement with opioid manufacturers

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NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James last week announced an agreement that will deliver up to $1.1 billion to New York State to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The agreement was reached with McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation—three of the nation’s largest drug distributors.

The news comes as litigation against other opioid manufactures and distributers around the world is continuing or has already been settled.

The $1.1 billion agreement is the largest monetary settlement ever negotiated by James.

It will remove the three distributors from New York’s ongoing opioid trial, currently underway in Suffolk County State Supreme Court.

“For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities throughout New York and across the rest of the nation, killing hundreds of thousands of our friends and family members and addicting millions more,” said Attorney General James in a press release.

According to the press release, the more than $1 billion will be delivered into New York communities ravaged by opioids for treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts.

“While no amount of money will ever compensate for the millions of addictions, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, or the countless communities decimated by opioids, this money will be vital in preventing any future devastation,” stated James.

The opioid epidemic has not only plagued Sullivan County but also the entire country. According to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 93,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in 2020. That figure represents an increase of more than 29 percent compared to 2019.

According to the most recent data from the CDC (2018), Sullivan County has the highest opioid death rate per 100,000 in the state, at a rate of 45.03.

The county has a host of issues related to these numbers, being a rural county with limited transportation, limited access to care and no drug treatment centers.

As recently reported in the Democrat, the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office and Sullivan County’s Drug Task Force joined the “Hope Not Handcuffs” Hudson Valley program.

The program, which will begin this fall, aims to bring law enforcement, community organizations and volunteers together to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce dependency with any substance. They are currently looking for volunteers.

Will the county receive any money from the state’s settlement? According to Sullivan County Director of Communications Dan Hust, they do know they will be receiving funds, it’s just a matter of when and how much.

Further, Hust said, they are also awaiting guidance on what ways they will be permitted to utilize that money.

We will continue to update this story.

Comments

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Don

One major component of Hope not Handcuffs not mentioned is that if someone is arrested for doing a crime but wants treatment at that time they will get the help and not be charged.

District Attorney Meagan Galligan said she is working with local police agencies to try and defer people to treatment when charged with most misdemeanor drug possession offences.

So after you do the crime then you can get help and not goto jail.

Instead of doing the crime why can't you just go get help first?

Tuesday, July 27