Iowa AG has plans for opioid comparison funds


Iowa attorney general Tom Miller announces how he plans to spend the state-awarded opioid settlement funds.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller wants all monies received from settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors in a Cleveland, Ohio, multi-state litigation led by Judge Dan Polster for “treatment, recovery and Mitigation Efforts ”will be used to combat addiction that claimed more than 200 lives in Iowa in 2020.

“My goal has always been to use that extra money in the best possible way to help manage this huge epidemic of crisis that has harmed so many people and was completely unnecessary,” Miller said.

The attorney general’s office is negotiating with the Iowa health department and the Iowa county attorneys. Talks with officials at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) centered on spending approximately $ 3.5 million on telemedicine training for doctors, nurses, and medical assistants focused on federally approved drug-assisted treatment.

Photo by Pietro Jeng from Pexels

The AG said he believes things will get to the point where sometime in 2022 Iowa will receive “$ 15-20 million” to stop the opioid crisis and negotiate a deal with drug companies supposedly to do so have helped create them with fraudulent claims and marketing campaigns.

“There’s still a lot to be done, but hopefully it crosses the Rubicon,” he said, adding that his office worked with officials from the state health department, counties, UIHC and others to define a strategy to find out what addictions are most common in Iowa and how to treat them.

“One of the things we should be doing with the money is trying to find out what we can about the degree, source, and nature of the addictions in Iowa. That’s something I would advocate, ”he said. “We want to make sure that the benefits of the extra money are distributed across the country, so that everyone in the country has a chance to benefit from it. We hope that this can be a model for dealing with an addiction. “

Opioid-related deaths in Iowa rose 35 percent in 2020, and according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999 to 2019, about 500,000 people in the United States generally died from opioid overdoses for a total of three waves of the year Opioid crisis.

“We believe there are a number of people who could stop completely with treatment, and that’s the optimum, that’s what we want,” Miller said, adding, “But we think there are many others there are those who cannot, and we think that (drug treatment) is a very viable alternative and that is what we will work towards. “

Miller played a key role in the $ 26 billion agreement with three major opioid distributors Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson and the $ 4.3 billion settlement with the Sackler family and their Purdue Pharma company . The funds raised from these settlements will ultimately bring some comfort and relief to the crisis-ravaged communities, but there is still much to be done.


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