Oregon and Arizona have signed the $26 billion nationwide opioid settlement agreement, which will be paid by the three major pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson and Johnson (J&J).
As per the agreement, Oregon will receive up to $332 million over the next 18 years and Arizona will get $549 million for opioid treatment and prevention of future opioid crisis. The final settlement amount for both the states will depend on the participation of cities and counties in the agreement.
The settlement will give some relief to the opioid affected families and individuals of the state. The amount would be used to prevent future opioid crisis and implement awareness programs to educate people about opioid side effects. It will also be used to treat the affected individuals who are suffering from life-altering effects due to opioid addiction.
Arizona declared a public health emergency in 2017 as the number of opioid-related deaths increased by 75% over five years. In 2020, the death rate due to opioids in Arizona increased to 33% more than the previous year, as 2,600 residents died because of the overdose. The death rate due to opioids decreased in Oregon between 2006 and 2018, but the state saw 462 deaths in 2020 as compared to 280 in 2019 due to opioid overdose.
The agreement guides the drug distributors and J&J to stop selling opioids and highlight suspicious opioid orders instantly for preventing illicit opioid activities.