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Louisville could receive additional funds from opioid settlements against pharmacies

Louisville is set to receive its first payments next year from a settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors, and money from additional settlements could be on the way.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell plans to advocate for the city's incoming mayoral administration to sign onto settlements with Walgreens and CVS for contributing to the opioid epidemic.

“These settlements represent the latest step in our work to hold major corporations accountable for their roles in fueling the devastation brought by the opioid crisis,” O’Connell said in a news release.

The agreements call for Walgreens to pay out $5.7 billion over 15 years. The CVS payout would total $5 billion over 10 years.

Louisville’s portion would depend on other states and cities participating in the settlements.

These wouldn’t be the first opioid settlements to send money to the city. In 2017, O’Connell advised Louisville to join a lawsuit that included Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors.

In February, that settlement was finalized, with the companies agreeing to pay out $26 billion over an 18-year period.

Kentucky is set to receive $483 million, and Louisville will get $31.8 million.

The city’s first two payments from that settlement, totaling $3.5 million, are expected in 2023.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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