Volusia Creates Board for Opioid Settlement Fund

Local municipalities receiving settlement from Johnson & Johnson

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Volusia County is in the running to control funds received from Johnson and Johnson, also known as Janssen, for the pharmaceutical company's role in the opioid epidemic. Ormond Beach, among other cities,  entered into an agreement with the state for the class-action suit back in July 2021.

If the settlement agreement is adopted by both sides, distributors will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years throughout the United States, and Jansen will pay up to $5 billion over nine years. 

Florida's possible $22.8 billion portion will be divided into three categories:  state fund, city/county funds, and regional funds. Volusia County’s region is set to receive about 3.13% of the regional funds from the settlement.

A majority of municipalities will need to agree that Volusia is a qualified county in order to keep control of the local regional funds. The Volusia County Council created the Opioid Abatement Funding Advisory Board where each local government appoints a person to the board.

Volusia County was hit hardest in the state by the opioid epidemic. Two-thirds of the people who died from drug overdoses in 2017 were linked to opioids.  Volusia County had 119 overdose deaths in 2018, which was higher than both the state and national averages.

The plan supports treating opioid use disorder, opioid abatement research, and outlines ways to prevent the misuse of opioids.

The first meeting of the Opioid Abatement Funding Advisory Board will take place in June and meet semi-annually. The payout is expected around July 2022.