October 17, 2019

No Consensus on States Use of Opioid Settlement Money

According to an October 14 article in the Los Angeles Times, if there is a  settlement in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, also known as Multidistrict Litigation 2804, the cost could be over $100 billion for the pharmaceutical companies involved, including requiring companies to fund counseling and addiction treatment. Though the settlement may be smaller than the settlement under the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (Tobacco MSA),  the states involved differ in how they wish to spend the money, and many worry that “after an initial flurry of spending on opioid treatment and prevention” beneficiaries will take remaining funds to “replenish coffers exhausted by the opioid crisis or divert funds to other priorities.” Under the Tobacco MSA, initial funding was used for tobacco cessation programs, however later got diverted to funding public works projects for schools and highway construction.