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Franklin County Commissioners To Approve Its Portion Of National Opioid Settlement

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.
Toby Talbot
OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.

As a part of the "OneOhio Subdivision Settlement," the Franklin County Board of Commissioners will vote Thursday on an ordinance to approve the county's portion in the National Opioid Settlement.

Ohio will get $809 million over 18 years from the national settlement, specifically with McKesson Corporation, Dublin-based Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Corporation. Franklin County is estimated to receive around $8.1 million over the same time period.

According to a county commissioner's spokesman, the amount is assuming 95% of litigants sign on to the agreement, and that a large part of the money would go towards an abatement foundation that splits Ohio into different regions. The Franklin County region will receive almost $31 million from the foundation.

Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce said the settlement is a starting block not only in the abatement and mitigation of the opioid crisis, but also prevention.

"Here's the bottom line, there is no amount that we can receive that is appropriate to the loss of life or the impact that opiates have had on Central Ohio," he said.

Boyce added that people should not just focus on the amount that Franklin County is receiving from the settlement, but rather what Ohio is receiving as a whole.

"We've got to work together with surrounding counties which is also a factor in our numbers to figure out how we can not just abate and mitigate the problem, but also support prevention strategies," he said.

A report from the Franklin County Coroner's officefound that there were 744 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2020, which accounted for 87% of all overdose deaths that year.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.