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Connecticut receives first multi-million dollar payment from opioid settlement

Attorney General William Tong in Windham announcing first Connecticut payment from Johnson and Johnson opioid settlement.jpg
Brian Scott-Smith
/
WSHU
Attorney General William Tong in Windham announcing first Connecticut payment from Johnson and Johnson opioid settlement

Attorney General William Tong announced on Tuesday Connecticut’s first payment from the recent multi-state Johnson and Johnson opioid settlement case of $42.7 million.

52 states and territories reached an agreement with the pharmaceutical giant and three major pharmaceutical distributors in an historic $26 billion settlement deal.

Tong said the deal isn’t just about the money, the firms have to stay out of the opioid business for at least the next 10 years and the settlement places other strict injunctive terms on the way they do business.

“They need to provide a whole bunch of data and metrics and information to allow us to track pills, to track rates of addiction, to track where pills are going," Tong said. "Who’s prescribing the pills, and it enables us to do a lot more enforcement work. So, we’ve focused so far on manufacturers, we’ve driven a few of them into bankruptcy including Purdue Pharma, Endo, and Mallinckrodt.”

Connecticut is set to receive $300 million overall from the J&J settlement and that money is to be used to fund opioid treatment, prevention, intervention, and recovery projects across the state.

Tong also visited Stamford and Windham.

LtoR Windham Town Councillor - Dawn Niles, Windham Mayor - Thomas DeVivo, Attorney General William Tong and Windham Fire Chief - Marc Scrivener.jpg
Brian Scott-Smith
/
WSHU
(From left to right) Windham Town Councilor Dawn Niles, Windham Mayor Thomas DeVivo, Attorney General William Tong and Windham Fire Chief Marc Scrivener.

Windham Town Councilor Dawn Niles is one of the committee’s newly appointed members and said she has firsthand knowledge of how devastating the opioid crisis has been over the years.

“A lot of people don’t know but I ran a walk-in crisis center on Main Street here in the 80s," Niles said. "And I was there for 10 years. I watched this happen slowly over time and it was just horrendous. Now I get to see it as the wife of a volunteer firefighter and all those fire departments including Willimantic that goes out to these calls.”

There are still further opioid settlement cases being negotiated with Walmart and CVS, which Connecticut is part of.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.