Attorney General touts funds to help counties fight opioid crisis

Photo courtesy of New York Attorney General’s Office: Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, was in Batavia on Thursday as part of a statewide “HealNY” tour. She visited the Recovery Station in Batavia, a community restaurant and safe space for individuals going through recovery. Pictured include Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee County Manager Matthew Landers, Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein, Genesee County Legislators Chad Klotzbach, Gordon Dibble, Gregg Torrey and John Deleo.

Staff Reports Posted 15 October 2021 at 11:21 am

ROCHESTER/BATAVIA – New York Attorney General Letitia James was Thursday visited Rochester and Batavia as part of her statewide “HealNY” tour of the state.

She is announced funding for the Finger Lakes as part of $1.5 billion in a settlement to combat the opioid crisis in counties across New York state.

The Finger Lakes counties are to receive $29.2 million to $53.1 million of those funds. The share for Orleans County is a minimum of $356,743 to a maximum of $615,993.

The allotments for Finger Lakes counties include:

  • Genesee County: $614,045 to $1,060,280
  • Livingston County: $586,539 to $1,012,784
  • Monroe County: $11,143,437 to $19,509,989
  • Ontario County: $1,131,905 to $1,954,475
  • Orleans County: $356,743 to $615,993
  • Seneca County: $334,269 to $577,187
  • Wayne County: $858,979 to $1,483,210
  • Wyoming County: $355,707 to $614,204
  • Yates County: $214,215 to $369,887

“For more than two decades, the Finger Lakes Region has been ravaged by the opioid crisis, but, today, we are finally starting to heal New York by announcing that we will be delivering up to $53 million to the area to invest in the prevention, treatment, and recovery programs,” James said. “No amount of money will ever make up for all the addictions, all the deaths, and all the communities devastated by opioids, but these funds will be essential in helping the Finger Lakes Region turn the tide on this epidemic.”

Every region in the state will receive millions of dollars for prevention, treatment, and recovery programs to combat the opioid crisis.

The AG filed a lawsuit in 2019 that her office said was, at the time, the nation’s most extensive lawsuit against the various manufacturers and distributors of opioids. These manufacturers and distributors were responsible for heavily marketing opioids to doctors, hospitals, health care systems, and others, which led to the over prescription of the drugs across New York and the rest of the nation over the last two decades, James said.

The manufacturers named in Attorney General James’ complaint included Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, as well as members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson); Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates; and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.

Last month, a settlement with Endo was announced that has already delivered $50 million to New York state and Nassau and Suffolk counties to combat the opioid crisis and remove the opioid manufacturer from New York’s ongoing opioid trial.

Also, last month, a settlement that secured more than $4.5 billion – at least $200 million of which will be earmarked for New York – from the Sackler family and foundations that they control, ends the Sacklers’ ability to manufacture opioids ever again, and will shut down Purdue Pharma was announced.

In July, a settlement with McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen that will deliver up to $1 billion to New York state to combat the opioid epidemic was announced.

In June, a settlement that ended Johnson & Johnson’s sale of opioids nationwide and that will deliver $230 million to New York alone was announced. The deals with Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen have a global value of approximately $26 billion.

The cases against Mallinckrodt and Rochester Drug Cooperative are now moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The trial against the two remaining defendants – Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Allergan Finance – is currently underway and continues in state court.