Ohio Official: Opioid Settlement Should Be Spent Locally

Associated Press | Julie Carr Smyth

Any money Ohio might receive from a settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and other drugmakers should be spent at the local level, the state’s top lawyer said Wednesday.

Republican Attorney General Dave Yost told reporters that so many of the agencies that are responding to the opioid crisis are not statewide, but local. He cited the foster care system, first responders, police departments and prosecutors’ offices.

“So, as a practical matter, if we’re going to use any of this money to fix the problem — which we absolutely ought to do — then it’s going to have to go back to the local level,” he said at an unrelated news conference.

In August, Yost sought to delay two Ohio counties’ upcoming trials against drugmakers over the impacts of the national opioid epidemic — court proceedings viewed as potentially precedent-setting in holding the pharmaceutical industry responsible for the deadly epidemic tied to prescription painkillers, heroin and other opiates.

Yost’s filing argued attempts to force drugmakers to pay should come in a single state action, to allow equal distribution of money across Ohio. Thirteen other states agreed.

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