HEALTH

Utah will get more than $300 million from opioid settlement

Jul 22, 2021, 9:01 AM | Updated: 5:38 pm
Utah has a high rate of deaths related to drugs. (Photo: Getty Images)...
Utah has a high rate of deaths related to drugs. (Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Four drugmakers have agreed to a $26-billion payout to states to settle thousands of lawsuits. Utah’s attorney general held a news conference Thursday afternoon to talk about Utah’s cut which could be according to KSL.com around $309 million dollars, about one percent of the total, which will be paid out over 18 years.

“The opioid crisis continues to devastate our community and families, and this settlement proposal is an excellent step in the right direction,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson at Thursday’s press conference. While there remain many legal steps before local governments receive their portions of the settlement, the money received would help expand Salt Lake County’s programs supporting treatment and care of those impacted.”

Utah and the opioid settlement

The Utah legislature has already created an account to receive those funds, anticipating that a settlement would be reached in the case.

Johnson & Johnson will pay $5 billion of the total, with three distribution firms paying the rest. Johnson and Johnson denies any wrongdoing, though it has agreed to stop making opioid drugs.

About 40 states are expected to participate in the settlement, along with a number of local governments.

“Opioid companies have profited off human suffering and pain,” said Salt Lake County District County Attorney Sim Gill at Thursday’s press conference. “This money is insufficient for those lives lost to addiction, and those family and friends we will never see again. We are cautiously optimistic that there will be accountability for these companies and some relief to our county.” 

Dave and Dujanovic will go in-depth with State Senator Todd Weiler and an addiction recovery center starting at 9 am. You can watch live below. 

 

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Utah will get more than $300 million from opioid settlement