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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Washington to get over $370 million from lawsuit resolutions to fight opioid addiction

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The state of Washington will get $371.8 million to fight opioid addiction after resolving a lawsuit against opioid producing and selling companies, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.

Half of that will be divided between the state’s 125 local governments, which are required to use the funds for opioid remediation. The rest will go to the state.

Over $100 million will go to King County and its cities. Seattle alone will see about $26 million.

Neighboring Pierce and Snohomish counties will receive $48.2 million and $47.3 million, respectively.

The money comes from a group of four settlements with CVS, Walgreens, Teva and Allergan. In the two largest, Walgreens owes Washington $120 million over 15 years and CVS will pay out $110 million over 10 years.

As part of the resolutions, CVS and Walgreens will “tightly monitor” opioid prescriptions and prevent patients from seeking multiple opioid prescriptions, according to the news release. Allergan will stop selling opioids for a decade and Teva cannot market opioids.

All of the eligible local governments signed off on the resolution.

“These resources are flowing to every corner of the state to address the fentanyl crisis and improve treatment options,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a news release. “This will save lives and make our communities safer.”

Last year, Ferguson’s office announced a $518 million settlement with three of the nation’s largest opioid distributors: McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

To comply with opioid remediation requirements, the funds can be used for housing or educating people in treatment and recovery, school-based programs, distribution of naloxone and supporting first responders.

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