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Colorado receives another $270 million from national opioid settlements

The Colorado Attorney General's Office announced Friday the final approval of $17.3 billion in national opioid agreements with drug makers Teva and Allergan and pharmacies CVS and Walgreens.

Colorado will receive approximately $270 million over 15 years from these recent settlements, the office stated in a press release. This money is in addition to the approximately $400 million Colorado has begun receiving from prior opioid settlements.  

Colorado's portion of the recent settlements is expected to reach state and local governments by the end of this year. The state has already begun receiving funds from the previous opioid settlements. 

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"This money will go directly towards supporting the people and communities in Colorado who continue to battle the harms of drug addiction and misuse," Colorado AG Phil Weiser stated in the press release. "Colorado's framework for the investment of these funds, on a local and regional basis, is a national model and was recognized by the Johns Hopkins Public Health School as the top such system in the nation."  

Macro of oxycodone opioid tablets with prescription bottles against dark background
Oxycodone is the generic name for a range of opioid pain killing tablets.  Getty Images/iStockphoto

The majority of the Opioid Settlement Funds will be distributed to 19 Colorado regions - called Regional Opioid Abatement Councils  -  that were configured by local governments, according to the state's distribution dashboard

Colorado Attorney General's Office

A state opioid abatement council will oversee the distribution to the 19 regional councils. Sixty percent of the settlement money is slated to go to these regional council, 20% to directly to local governments, and the remaining 20% to be spent on state initiatives, expenditure reporting, regional planning, and what is being called opioid abatement infrastructure.

"The purpose of the Infrastructure Share is to promote capital improvements and provide operational assistance for developing or improving the infrastructure necessary to abate the opioid crisis within the state of Colorado," states the Colorado Opioid Abatement Council's web page

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A $1.9 million distribution was made by that state council in March. Six organizations - a recovery center in the San Luis Valley, Arapahoe County Public Health, the Fremont County Boys and Girls Club, the Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County, a treatment center in Douglas County called Valley Hope Association, and the Thornton Police Department - received funding amounts between $130,000 and $500,000.

Among the destinations for the money, as listed by the regional councils, are school-based programs, pre-arrest diversion programs, Naloxone training, screening and treatment for young adults, education about non-opioid treatments, and training on drug disposal.

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The state council is currently accepting applications for the next round of fund distribution. Applications are due June 20th, 2023.  

Aside from the financial compensation, Teva is prohibited from marketing opioid products by the settlement. Likewise, Allergan is required to stop selling opioids for the next 10 years. CVS and Walgreens agreed to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions.

Teva and Allergan negotiations were led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, Iowa, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. CVS and Walgreens negotiations were led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.  

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