Bucco to Governor: Sign Bill Now to Use Opioid Compensation for Work to Save Lives

A $ 4.5 billion state settlement with the drug company responsible for making and promoting the addictive pain reliever that fueled the rampant opioid epidemic will gross more than $ 110 million in New Jersey , and Senator Anthony M. Bucco urges the governor to ensure the money is used to fight addiction and save lives.

“In anticipation of this year-long agreement, both houses of the legislature unanimously passed a bill that establishes a framework for the use of opioid comparators to support addiction prevention and treatment programs,” said Bucco (R-25). “This bill is on the governor’s desk and I hope he won’t waste time signing it so we can get the money out on the streets, help people and save lives as soon as possible.”

Bucco is a sponsor of the bill, S-3867who would establish the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund and a 13-member Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council.

According to the draft law, monies received by the state in a settlement would be paid into the fund and used specifically for the purpose of supplementing programs and services for the prevention and treatment of addiction diseases and according to the terms of the settlements in connection with claims from manufacturing, marketing , Distribution or dispensing of opioids.

“This settlement money should be used immediately to mitigate some of the damage caused by Purdue Pharma’s irresponsible advertising and marketing of OxyContin,” said Bucco. “This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the damage done, so it is important that we get the most out of every dollar to fight the epidemic and prevent tragic consequences. It’s the right thing. “

A similar fund was recently created in upstate New York, where settlement funds must be poured into a new fund to ensure proceeds go towards fighting the opioid epidemic.

The agreement between 15 states, including New Jersey, and Purdue Pharma follows years of litigation. A mediator’s report filed in federal court in New York revealed the deal, and the settlement is subject to court approval.

“The opioid epidemic didn’t miss a beat during the pandemic, and there is no time to waste,” said Bucco. “This money, if used properly, will save lives and prevent tragedies that have become all too common in our state’s communities.

“The governor understands the urgency and I hope he will work with the legislature to ensure the money is paid responsibly so that it has the greatest impact and helps the most people,” added Bucco.

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