Idaho agrees to $119 million opioid crisis settlement

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho officials on Friday agreed to a $119 million settlement with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and three major distributors over their role in the opioid addiction crisis.

Republican Gov. Brad Little and Republican Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in an announcement said it’s the second-largest consumer settlement in state history, trailing only the 1998 national tobacco settlement.

An Ada County judge on Wednesday approved the settlement that includes all 44 Idaho counties, 24 cities and the state’s seven health districts.

The money will address damage wrought by opioids, which the federal government declared a public health emergency in 2017. Johnson & Johnson and the three distributors agreed to a national $26 billion settlement in February.

“Idaho has made significant strides in recent years in combatting the opioid crisis, and the culmination of our legal action against opioid manufacturers – led by Attorney General Wasden and his team – now offers additional resources,” Little said in a statement.

Wasden is continuing legal action against other opioid makers as well as the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma.

“This settlement holds some of those most responsible for the opioid crisis accountable and provides significant funding for treatment, recovery and prevention in Idaho,” Wasden said.

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