Utah to receive $266M in opioid lawsuit settlement

Opioids. File photo U.S. Department of Agriculture

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 26, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The state of Utah will receive more than a quarter-billion dollars to help combat the opioid epidemic.

Utah State officials announced Tuesday that Utah will be receiving $266 million, over a period of 18 years, from a settlement agreement from a lawsuit filed by Utah counties against pharmaceutical companies.

It’s a partial settlement with one drug manufacturer and a few distributors. Half the money will go directly to the state.

“The remaining $133 million will be split between the 27 settling counties,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. “And the Salt Lake County share of that is roughly about $57 million which we’ll be able to reinvest back into our county for drug treatment and the collateral impacts of this that we are suffering from.”

Officials say it’s just a start of what they believe will be additional, successful settlements with pharmaceutical companies, to combat the devastation caused by the over-prescription of synthetic opioids.

The money will be spent to start new treatment facilities, hire therapists, promote drug education and deal with the related impacts on the criminal justice system, says a statement released by Salt Lake County.

“It’s an issue that has been overshadowed, to a certain degree, by two years of the COVID-19 pandemic but roughly 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year,” the statement says.


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