Commissioners from both Clallam and Jefferson counties are considering approval of an opioid settlement involving five distributor companies.
The Board of Jefferson County Commissioners voted to join the settlement agreements on Monday with CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Teva and Allergan.
Clallam County Commissioners will consider approval at their March 21 meeting set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Clallam County Courthouse, 3321 E. Fourth St.
“I don’t know why we wouldn’t approve it unless you tell us otherwise,” Clallam County Commissioner Randy Johnson said to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dee Boughton at Monday’s work session.
“It’s a little exciting because this is a potential settlement instead of continued litigation,” Boughton told the commissioners.
On Dec. 22, 2022, Washington state reached a multi-state resolution with the five opioid distributor companies. The settlements are contingent upon a high percentage of eligible cities and counties approving joining the settlement, according to a Clallam County Commissioners staff memo. The approval deadline is April 18, 2023.
According to the terms of the settlements, Jefferson County will receive annual payments totaling $883,635 from the various companies over a span of 14 years.
“It’s a big deal in terms of a national settlement,” said Jefferson County Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Philip Hunsucker.
Jefferson County will receive $129,632 over six years from Walmart; $103,100 over seven years from Allergan; $173,059 over 13 years from Teva; $228,917 over 10 years from CVS and $248,924 over 14 years from Walgreens.
Clallam County tentatively will receive 1.30 percent of the total allotment and Port Angeles tentatively will receive 0.459 percent. Kitsap County and its five jurisdictions tentatively will receive 3.563 percent.
Boughton told the Clallam County commissioners those percentages could change as more jurisdictions approve joining the settlement.
Late last year, governments in Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties approved an interlocal agreement with the Salish Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization in Port Orchard for receiving, managing, distributing and administering the settlement funds State of Washington v. McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation.
Boughton told the commissioners it is contemplated that this settlement will be handled and administered in the same way.
Last week, Jefferson County Commissioners discussed how best to spend funds from that settlement, a total of $896,804 over 15 years.
Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties comprise the service area of the Salish Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization (BHASO).
Each of the five settlements can be accessed at https://nationalopioidsettlement.com.
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