As fentanyl deaths rise, Hamilton County is scheduled to earn more than $7 million as part of a $26 billion nationwide settlement with an opioid producer and distributor.
On July 21, 2021, a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general announced final settlements with Johnson & Johnson, a prescription opioid producer, and the three main pharmaceutical distributors, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. The corporations paid $26 billion in restitution for activities that contributed to the opioid crisis and agreed to reform their business practises to ensure the safety of opioid prescriptions.
The Indiana funds are part of the state's $509 million share of the wider settlement. The cash will be distributed over an 18-year period. The vast bulk will be devoted to combating drug misuse.
According to the Hamilton County Coroner, over 30 individuals died from opioid overdoses between October 2022 and October 2023, 19 of them from fentanyl. Since 2014, the county has averaged 29 opioid fatalities each year, with fentanyl being the major cause.
The Indiana Department of Health stated that 2,554 Hoosiers died from drug overdoses in 2021, with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids accounting for more than 70% of the deaths. As of August 1, 2022, over 2,500 Indians have died as a result of opioids.
Indiana also won pharmaceutical store assistance, which will be given next year. The state of Indiana earned $219 million in a settlement with CVS and Walgreens, as well as $53 million in a $3.1 billion countrywide deal with Walmart.
According to Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt, the cash might be used for a drug and behavioural evaluation facility as well as addiction treatment programmes. The clinic, which will be located at Riverview Hospital, will enhance the referral and treatment of overdose victims.
The county will get more than $1 million in the initial payment and around $194,000 every year until 2038.