Phoenix, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich last Monday announced that 90 cities and towns and all 15 counties are signed on to a framework called the One Arizona Memorandum of Understanding (One Arizona Plan) to expeditiously distribute funds from future opioid settlements across Arizona. The agreement ensures that Arizona will receive the maximum amount of money available from future opioid settlements, including one under review with Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson.
“The opioid crisis has impacted every corner of our state,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Our cooperative efforts have produced a strong statewide agreement to ensure settlement funds will go to addiction and prevention programs while also requiring accountability. Every city, town, and county involved in the One Arizona Plan has demonstrated they stand together in combatting this opioid crisis.”
The One Arizona Plan, available here, provides funding for programs to address and ameliorate opioid abuse, and includes reporting requirements for greater transparency of how money is used:
- 56% of the total settlement goes to local governments for opioid amelioration programs.
- 44% of the total settlement goes to a State fund for opioid amelioration programs.
- Funds must be spent in accordance with approved, nationally recognized strategies to pay for future costs incurred by the State and local governments to address the opioid epidemic. Approved uses include expenses related to the treatment of opioid use disorder, support for people in treatment and recovery, support for people who have or are at risk of developing opioid use disorder, and prevention of overuse and misuse of opioids.
- Transparent reporting requirements for fund usage to ensure compliance with approved purposes.
- Flexibility for local governments to pool resources to increase the impact of settlement funds.
Arizona was among the first states to reach a statewide agreement. The One Arizona Plan ensures the funds will be used to abate the opioid crisis in the future. As a further means to expedite the distribution of funds, local spending decisions can be pooled and are delegated to the jurisdiction where spending is occurring without a requirement for State authorization or a bureaucratic panel.
The Attorney General's Office (AGO) is currently reviewing the final settlement details of a settlement with Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured and marketed opioids. If the AGO agrees to sign on to the settlement, funds will then be distributed through the One Arizona Plan.
This One Arizona Plan was handled by Civil Litigation Division Chief Counsel Joseph Sciarrotta, Unit Chief Counsel Matthew du Mee, Senior Litigation Counsel Jennifer Bonham, and former Consumer Protection Section Chief Rebecca Eggleston.