Lacey joined with Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County when its city council agreed last Thursday, March 16, to to sign up for its share of a settlement from pharmacies and manufacturers involved in the spread of opioids.
Pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, as well as manufacturers Allergan and Teva signed national settlement agreements in late 2022, it was widely reported. Washington State is set to receive around $434 million, with half of the amount allocated for the state while the other half would be distributed to counties and cities.
According to a December 2022 press release from Washing State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, $120.3 million would come from Walgreens, $110.6 million from CVS, $62.6 million from Walmart, $90.7 million from Teva, and $50 million from Allergan.
“Funds will be utilized to help provide social and health services for those impacted by opioid use and addiction,” according to Ann Cook, communications manager for Tumwater. “They would also assist with the prevention of overuse and abuse, which supports our policy to provide and sustain quality public safety services and our commitment to explore regional partnerships to provide social and health services,” she added.
Lacey City Attorney David Schneider told the city council last week that all Washington cities with a population above 10,000 are required to join in the settlements by April 18 this year and that there would be “a steep drop-off if any jurisdiction does not join in the settlement.”
Schneider added that the settlement would be payable over the next 15 years and that jurisdictions could potentially start receiving the payments as early as late summer or early fall this year. The amounts each city and the county will receive are not available yet.
Last year, the cities and county signed into a similar allocation agreement called One Washington Memorandum of Understanding to receive $518 million in settlements from opioid distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health, according to the Washington State Attorney General.
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