Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair, at a Pa. House hearing in Feb. 2020. (Pa. House photo)
State Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair, was appointed to Pennsylvania’s opioid settlement trust this week by House Speaker Bryan Cutler.
Gregory will serve as the House appointee to the 13-member Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement Trust, established to distribute funds received from a settlement with three pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson that Pennsylvania signed onto in January.
“I’m honored to play a role in [the] distribution of these settlement dollars. The pharmaceutical industry has ruined families and claimed lives,” Gregory said. “Allocating this funding to treatment is the best way we can help Pennsylvanians with the settlement money.”
Of the $1.07 billion Pennsylvania is slated to receive as part of the settlement, 70 percent will go to counties based on the combined metrics of overdose deaths, opioid use disorder hospitalizations, naloxone administrations, and percentage of opioid shipments, another 15 percent will go to litigating counties, subdivisions, district attorneys, and special districts; and the remaining 15 percent will go to the commonwealth as a whole to be appropriated by the Legislature, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
The settlement funds can be used for expanding the use of overdose-reversal medications, treatment for incarcerated individuals, data collection and research, training, and drug courts and diversion programs, according to a statement from House Republicans.
“Expanded access to treatment works,” Gregory said. “This has been borne out by both research and stories I hear from friends, family and providers in the addiction community.”
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