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Huntsville opioid settlement proceeds going to local agencies

HUNTSVILLE — The city of Huntsville is getting ahead of the opioid crisis by allocating proceeds from an opioid settlement to organizations dedicated to fighting the effects of opioid abuse.

By joining in several opioid-related class-action lawsuits, the city will receive nearly $2 million over 10 years as part of a settlement from McKesson, and a one-time payment of $982,235 from Janssen.

Both cases involved pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The city is a plaintiff in other unsettled litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors as well.

Organizations set to receive the funds, pending City Council approval, are First Stop ($810,000), WellStone ($750,000), and the Huntsville Hospital Foundation ($850,000).

Huntsville Finance Director Penny Smith said the organizations were chosen based on their areas of expertise with opioid use disorders.

“We looked at agencies we already partner with that also have programs geared toward fighting the opioid crisis, specifically those that combat homelessness or serve low-income populations,” she said. “The settlements have guidelines that state they should benefit those who have been directly impacted by opioid abuse.”

A portion of the proceeds will also be set aside for the purchase of Naloxone – also known as Narcan – to treat overdose patients. Future proceeds will be allocated based on community needs.

Agencies receiving the opioid settlement allocations are required to submit utilization reports on how the funds are benefiting the community.

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