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AG Marshall finalizes $220 million settlement with two opioid distributors

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has announced that the state’s General Fund will be receiving an additional $220 million after pending opioid related litigation was finally resolved in court last week. The new funding will be distributed to local governments and public hospitals.

The drug manufacturers involved in the litigation, Cardinal Health and Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), are two of the top three pharmaceutical wholesalers in the country.

“Today reaffirmed our decision to decline participation in the national opioid settlement with Cardinal and Cencora, as that proposal failed to adequately acknowledge the unique harms faced by Alabamians,” Marshall said.

“While this settlement will not bring back those lost to this devastating epidemic, it presents a historic opportunity to ameliorate the harm that opioid abuse has caused in our communities and to finally move us out of this epidemic altogether.”

RELATED: $300 million from opioid settlement inbound to local communities

According to the terms of the agreement, Cardinal and Cencora will pay a combined $220 million in abatement funds over ten years. The settlement funds are to be used only to address the affects of the opioid crisis within the state.

To better decide exactly what the funding will be used for, the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council will submit  two years worth of research on the subject to state lawmakers.

Cardinal and Cencora will also be responsible for paying fees and costs for the State’s counsel.

Alabama has already reached settlements totaling over $500 million to resolve claims against drug manufacturers and other entities over their roles in the crisis.

The opioid epidemic has greatly impacted Alabama. According to the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the state at one point led the nation in opioid prescriptions with 121 prescriptions per 100 residents. That number is equivalent to 1.2 prescriptions for every man, woman, and child in Alabama.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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