Big Sky Roundup

Montana will receive $80 million as part of nationwide opioid settlement

By: - February 25, 2022 4:45 pm

Attorney General Austin Knudsen. (Provided by the Montana Attorney General’s Office for the Daily Montanan.)

Montana will receive $80 million as part of a multi-state settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three other major drug companies over their role in the national opioid epidemic, the Montana Attorney General’s Office announced on Friday.

The Attorney General’s Office said the settlement money will be used for opioid abatement, which could include programs like opioid use disorder treatment, providing Narcan to emergency or first responders, and drug treatment courts for defendants with opioid-related substance abuse problems or history.

“Opioid overdoses have killed hundreds of Montanans and thousands more struggle with addiction. The millions of dollars we secured in this settlement will help us save lives and treat those who need help,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in a news release announcing the settlement.

The companies named in the settlement were Johnson & Johnson, Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.

According to the release, Montana’s settlement was maximized after the Department of Justice secured participation in the agreement from all 56 counties and six eligible cities – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula. The counties and larger cities will receive 15% of the settlement and may receive additional funding from the settlement abatement fund that comprises 70%, or $56 million, of the total funds.

In total, $26 billion from the multi-state settlement will be distributed to 52 states and territories to combat the opioid crisis, the release said.

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Keith Schubert
Keith Schubert

Keith Schubert is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. Keith was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019. He has worked at the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and most recently, the Asbury Park Press, covering everything from local craft fairs to crime and courts to municipal government to the Minnesota state legislature. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on Wisconsin sports teams and exploring small businesses. He can be reached by text or call at 406-475-2954 .

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