Thursday, April 21, 2022



Nearly $89 Million to Be Distributed to New York City This Year From Historic Opioid Settlements


Funds Will Be Used for Opioid Treatment and Prevention Across All Five Boroughs

  New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the first of up to $256 million coming to New York City, beginning this week, to combat the opioid crisis that continues to ravage communities across the city. To address record overdose rates, New York City will receive $88.9 million this year — $11.5 million this week alone — to fund opioid prevention and treatment programs in all five boroughs. The funds are the first round of payments from the approximately $1.5 billion that Attorney General James has secured for the state from the historic settlements with manufacturers and distributors of opioids.


“Big Pharma raked in billions of dollars while people’s lives were lost and destroyed from opioids,” said Mayor Adams. “One New Yorker dies from an opioid overdose every four hours. Too many New Yorkers have suffered from death and addiction and too many families and communities have been torn apart. It’s time to end this public health crisis, and the $256 million New York City will be receiving thanks to Attorney General James’ good work will be critical in funding opioid treatment programs, education efforts, and other support programs across all five boroughs. This money will help us save lives and I thank Attorney General James for her partnership in fighting to end the opioid crisis.”


“Pharmaceutical companies that flooded New York communities with opioids are finally paying for the harm and devastation they caused,” said Attorney General James. “For far too long, opioid makers and distributors created more pain and suffering than they claimed to cure. The settlements my office secured from these companies are a result of our unwavering commitment to hold the powerful accountable and protect New Yorkers. Mayor Adams has been a dedicated partner in this fight, and we will not rest until our communities are free from the scourge of opioids. The money distributed today will help us turn the tide on the opioid crisis and ensure that every New Yorker struggling with addiction gets the help they need.”


Today’s payments are the first of many to New York City to tackle the opioid crisis. The first payments come from settlements with opioid distributors — AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., and McKesson Corporation. Later this year, New York City will receive additional payments from the settlements with Endo Health Solutions, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Allergan.


As a result of these historic opioid settlements, New York City will receive $88,943,457.57 in 2022, and up to $256,458,972.37 over the course of the payout of the different settlements. More funds could possibly be awarded from a trial victory against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, where a dollar figure has not yet been determined.


Today’s announcement also goes hand-in-hand with an announcement made by U.S. President Joseph Biden today, where he reiterated his commitment to fighting the opioid epidemic. The new strategy announced today tackles two major drivers of overdoses — untreated addiction and drug trafficking — and seeks to remove barriers to effective treatment, as well as to harm reduction services. At the same time, the president’s strategy lays out actions that will disrupt drug traffickers’ financial networks, supply chains, and delivery routes.


“So many fellow New Yorkers across the city have been touched by the opioid epidemic,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Families have lost a mom, a dad, a sister, or a brother to addiction or overdose. Today’s announcement gives us hope though; it is about holding pharmaceutical companies accountable and about investing in programs and systems that work to support individuals and families to work toward a healthier tomorrow. Thank you to the mayor and to the attorney general for their advocacy and commitment to these issues and to the wellbeing of every New Yorker.”


“We have lost too many New Yorkers — family members, friends, and neighbors — to overdose,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “It’s critical that we continue to invest in bold and innovative solutions to this crisis and help more New Yorkers get connected to harm reduction and treatment services. I thank Mayor Adams and Attorney General James for their leadership on this important public health issue.”


“Mayor Eric Adams and Attorney General Letitia James have long fought to address the opioid epidemic that has ravaged this city, and I’m thankful for this settlement that will go to help our patients,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals. “From our Street Health Outreach and Wellness vans to our inpatient behavioral health services, we take care of all New Yorkers no matter where they are and offer whatever treatment they need.”


“Our work on the frontlines of the opioid crisis puts us in direct touch with families affected by unimaginable loss, and we must leverage those special bonds of trust to prevent additional overdose deaths,” said New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham. “This funding can support and expand our critical activities to provide real-time data to partner agencies, generate a comprehensive picture of what led to each overdose fatality, and connect surviving family members in need with life-saving services. This is how we can honor the lives lost to the opioid epidemic.” 


“NYC Health + Hospitals is the leading provider of substance use disorder treatment for women and families with addiction,” said Dr. Machelle Allen, chief medical officer, NYC Health + Hospitals. “We will invest these dollars in the development of family centered models of prevention and care, initiated during pregnancy, and continuing throughout early childhood development. I thank Mayor Adams and Attorney General James for their continued fight for our patients.”


“This funding couldn’t come at a more critical time for our patients and for our workforce,” said Rebecca Linn-Walton, PhD, LCSW, senior assistant vice president in the Office of Behavioral Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “Substance Use Disorder is pain shared not just between patients, but families, communities, and the health care workers who treat them. This much-needed resource will save lives. What a meaningful thanks to those who have worked so tirelessly to treat substance use throughout the crisis, in the middle of a pandemic. We thank you. As someone whose life was saved by treatment, I thank you too.”


The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) recently released data showing a record number of overdose deaths citywide — 1,233 in just the first six months of 2021 compared to 965 over the same period in 2020 — which also match nationwide trends. Funds from these opioid settlements will help support citywide addiction prevention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction programs for all New Yorkers.


Pursuant to the new law establishing the opioid settlement fund, all funds collected by the state from opioid settlements or litigation victories will be allocated specifically for abatement efforts in communities devastated by the opioid epidemic and will not go towards the state’s general fund. In the years to come, the state’s Opioid Settlement Board will help distribute the up to $1.5 billion to communities across New York state to fight the opioid crisis. DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Vasan was appointed as a member of the Opioid Settlement Board by Mayor Adams earlier this month.

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