Cybersecdn- U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) has introduced a significant piece of legislation aimed at ensuring that opioid settlement funds are used as intended. The bipartisan Opioid Settlement Accountability Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R., Iowa), comes in response to reports of misuse of these funds by various communities.
The Act mandates that the settlement money, which comes from litigation against opioid distributors like AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, is strictly used for opioid crisis-related services. These include support services, education, prevention, training, recovery programs, and assistance for law enforcement and first responders.
This legislation is a response to instances like in Greene County, Tennessee, where settlement funds were reportedly used for unrelated expenses. Ohio’s own experience with the misuse of tobacco settlement funds years ago further underscores the need for such a law. The Act is a critical step in ensuring that the substantial settlement amounts, which could reach up to $24.9 million for some counties in Ohio, are effectively utilized to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic.