SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO—Earlier this morning, Summit and Cuyahoga counties reached settlement agreements in principle with drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corp. Per the proposed settlement agreements, Teva will pay $20 million in cash and provide $25 million worth of addiction treatment drugs to the two counties while AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson will pay a combined $215 million in cash. Summit and Cuyahoga will split the settlements at 38 percent and 62 percent, respectively.
“When we filed this lawsuit nearly two years ago, we did so on behalf of every family who couldn’t do it for themselves and on behalf of all the communities who feel this epidemic every day. Our goal was, and still is, to bring about behavior change on the part of the opioid makers and distributors and the pharmacies who fueled this crisis in our community,” said Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. “These settlement agreements give us the ability to help people now. The opioid epidemic is far from over, but I am confident funds obtained from the settlements will allow us to take on this fight with renewed strength.”
Earlier this month, Executive Shapiro unveiled an abatement plan for opioid litigation settlement funds. The plan includes the creation of a task force, the Opioid Abatement Advisory Council (OAAC), that will have oversight authority to ensure funding goes to Summit County programs that help abate the opioid epidemic. The OAAC will be designated by the Summit County Executive, Mayor of the City of Akron, a Mayor selected by the Mayors Association of Summit County, a Township Trustee, and a representative of Summit County Public Health.
The OAAC will be charged with recommending programming to address four priority areas utilizing our settlement resources: Treatment, Harm Reduction, System Coordination, and Evidence-Based Prevention and Education. These four areas will guide the collective action of the OAAC to turn settlement dollars into community impact.
Walgreens was severed and returns to the multidistrict litigation. Summit and Cuyahoga counties’ claims against the pharmacy store chain remain in place.