Boone County Commission considers participating in opioid settlement
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Boone County Commission had its first hearing Thursday on whether to get part of a massive settlement with drug manufacturers and pharmacies found responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic.
Manufacturers Teva and Allergan, and pharmacies Walmart, Walgreens and CVS will have to together pay roughly $20 billion dollars in a settlement aimed to try and reverse the effects of the opioid epidemic.
- Teva will have to pay up to $3.34 billion over 13 years and provide either $1.2 billion of its generic version of Narcan over 10 years or an agreed-upon cash equivalent over 13 years.
- Allergan is to pay up to $2.02 billion over seven years.
- CVS is to pay up to $4.90 billion over 10 years.
- Walgreens is to pay up to $5.52 billion over 15 years.
- Walmart to pay up to $2.74 billion in 2023
Across the country, local jurisdictions saw the destruction to communities and families that opioids brought, prompting this federal lawsuit to begin in Ohio.
Boone County was one of the many counties that saw the destruction, motivating them to join in this settlement.
Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson described what sort of agencies saw the opioid issue growing throughout the county.
"We knew it was a problem," Thompson said. "We knew from our courts, we knew from our sheriff, we knew from the Columbia Police Department, we knew from behavioral health clinics, we knew from our hospitals. They were seeing it in the emergency rooms. Everybody was seeing it. All the players were seeing the impact."
The settlement money will be spread throughout states, to participating jurisdictions.
The money would be used to create resources for things like opioid awareness, addiction treatment and other resources for those gripped with opioid addiction.
"We're not going to be able to fix it all," Thompson said. "But at least we'll be able to put some resources in place to stop that drug addiction before folks get started. Maybe we can stop that process in our community and maybe we can help the people whose lives have been impacted by opioid addiction."
First, each state must decide whether to participate in each settlement. A full list of participating states can be found here.
Second, eligible counties within each participating state must decide whether to participate or not. The more counties per state that elect to participate, the more money from the settlement will go to that state.
Counties that decide not to participate, even if the state decides to, will not have access to any money. If the state doesn't decide to participate, counties will not be eligible for participation.
Missouri is participating in the settlement.
Now, it is up to county commissions throughout Missouri to decide whether to participate.
"We joined that class action lawsuit in an attempt to participate if they were successful in that settlement and bring some of those dollars back to Boone County," Thompson said. "Boone County has been affected by the opioid epidemic."
The Boone County Commission decided to bring this issue in for a second hearing at a later date.
After that second hearing, a final vote will be made to decide whether to participate in the settlement.