By Sean Golonka/The Nevada Independent
Nevada will not sign on to a proposed $26 billion multistate settlement with the nation’s three largest drug distribution companies and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson — businesses accused of fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic that has killed thousands of Nevadans — in hopes of getting a better deal.
Attorney General Aaron Ford told The Nevada Independent on Monday that the state would have received roughly $240 million from the settlements — an amount he called “woefully insufficient” — and that the state will instead pursue separate negotiations with the companies “to ensure that the people in this state are adequately recompensed for the damages that opioids have caused in our communities.”
Ford would not identify how much the state is seeking through those separate negotiations but took issue with the allocation model used in the settlements.
“It’s something that we believe we have to stand firm on because those who’ve been involved in the opioid scenario here have done damage in our state, and we think they need to pay,” Ford said.
As litigation continues, the opioid epidemic continues to affect communities across Nevada. During a 24-hour period on Aug. 12, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported five suspected fentanyl-related overdose deaths had occurred in Clark County. And the Southern Nevada Health District reported that from January to May, there were 92 fentanyl-related overdose deaths among Clark County residents, a 39 percent increase over the same period in 2020.
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