Austin-area governments join multibillion-dollar opioid settlement. Here’s what they could get
AUSTIN (KXAN) – A handful of local governments in the Austin area have already signed a multi-billion dollar legal settlement with four major pharmaceutical companies regarding the ongoing opioid epidemic.
KXAN has confirmed that the cities of Georgetown, Pflugerville, Kyle, Hutto and Buda voted this month to participate in the deal at the behest of Attorney General Ken Paxton who announced the deal last July.
Texas could receive up to $ 1.5 billion from the $ 26 billion global settlement that includes pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson who manufactured and marketed the opioids.
Paxton said the actual amount the state could see depends on the number of city and county governments participating. 15 percent of the funding would go directly to local governments for substance abuse prevention programs and initiatives, 75 percent would go to the Texas Opioid Abatement Fund through the Texas Opioid Council, and the remaining 15 percent would go to the attorney’s office general to cover legal fees. expenses.
For now, under the terms of the award, the city of Georgetown is expected to receive $ 225,896, Pflugerville $ 86,408, Kyle $ 51,835, Hutto $ 38,346 and Buda $ 10,784.
Travis County (which could see $ 4.7 million) said it would “review its options,” when contacted for comment. The city of Austin (eligible for $ 4.9 million) said a ruling was not required until January and the case was “currently under review.”
Texas cities and counties joining the settlement – which would see funding dispersed over 18 years – would waive their right to sue the four named companies.
Drug manufacturers and distributors have been criticized and have become targets of litigation due to the increase in opioid addiction across the country.
Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson have denied any wrongdoing and said this settlement does not constitute an admission of liability.
Johnson & Johnson released a statement in July, in part: “We recognize that the opioid crisis is an extremely complex public health issue, and we have deep sympathy for all concerned. These regulations will directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis in the United States. “
Look for updates to this story later this evening.