Virginia receives first payment of $67.4M from J&J’s opioid settlement
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia has received its first payment of $67.4 million from Johnson & Johnson’s opioid settlement.
“This is a really big deal in the battle against opioids and the battle against addiction,” Tony McDowell with the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority said.
Attorney General Jason Miyares said this is a step towards helping Virginians battling addiction.
“What you had was a lot of those pharmaceutical [companies] that pushed these opioids out to doctors and medical prescribers saying that ‘listen, these aren’t addicting’ when in reality they are some the most addicting chemicals known to man,” Miyares said.
Of that $67 million, $16.3 million will be distributed among counties and cities. McDowell said payouts were measured by population but, most importantly, by opioid-related harm.
In our area, Henrico County is getting the biggest payout from the Johnson & Johnson settlement at $978,638.72.
Here’s a full list of the amount localities in our area that are getting:
- Chesterfield County - $894,405.34
- Colonial Heights - $61,917
- Dinwiddie County - $42,882.45
- Goochland County - $49,227.30
- Hanover County -$236,072.25
- Henrico County - $978,638.72
- Hopewell - $75,263.07
- Louisa County - $98,235.81
- New Kent - $34,130.93
- Petersburg - $86,421.26
- Prince George - $76,794.59
- Powhatan County - $57,322.46
- Richmond - $924,379.30
McDowell said the payout couldn’t be more timely.
“We’re losing more than seven people per day in Virginia to overdose[s], and 80% of those are fentanyl overdoses, and so we have to take steps immediately to get in front of that,” McDowell said.
He said illicit drugs like fentanyl drive up overdoses, but he believes the big settlement will save lives.
“And what we’re all about, our mission is to ensure that every dollar possible of these settlement funds gets to the people who need it,” McDowell said.
Localities will ultimately have to decide how the money will be spent, but the VOAA is prepared to connect localities to the best programs to advance treatment and recovery efforts in our communities.
“What we all want to do is connect people with help. Whether it’s treatment - support with recovery, we want to save lives,” McDowell said.
The rest of the initial payment will go to the state and the VOAA.
In total, Virginia is set to receive $99.3 million from the J&J settlement. The attorney general’s office said that money will be distributed over the next nine years.
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