BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills indicated in a press release that it plans to utilize settlement funds from lawsuits against opioid manufacturer and three distributors, that could total over $1 million to further opioid education and reduce dependency on these dangerous substances. Opioid drugs include heroin, hydrocodone, fentanyl and codeine.
Earlier this year, two settlements were reached that resolved litigation brought by cities and counties against three pharmaceutical distributors: McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen along with one manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and its parent company Johnson & Johnson.
Beverly Hills’ share, estimated at up to $1,011,465 over 18 years, must be used for the treatment of persons addicted to opioids and prevention of opioid abuse. The City is not required to pay any attorney fees or litigation costs.
“We are pleased to resolve this case and take a proactive role in ending the devastating epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse,” said Mayor Bob Wunderlich.
Settlement funds in each calendar year can be used for “opioid remediation” which are programs and expenditures designed to address the misuse and abuse of opioid products; treat or mitigate opioid use or related disorders; or mitigate other alleged effects of the opioid abuse crisis.
Programs identified by the California Department of Health Care Services that could be supported by the settlement funds include providing support treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD); providing connections to care for people who have – or are at risk of developing – OUD; and supporting efforts to prevent over-prescribing and ensuring appropriate prescribing and dispensing of opioids.