Oxford Twp. moves to join national, billion-dollar opioid settlement agreement

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Oxford Twp. moved closer Monday night to receiving its share of Ohio’s $808 million chunk of a nationwide settlement agreement with five major pharmacies accused of reckless practice that exacerbated the opioid epidemic.

Teva, Allergen, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are all involved in the national settlement agreement, after local governments across the country filed lawsuits against the pharmacies for the adverse consequences of the opioid epidemic. The proposed settlements could pay up to $20 billion to local governments.

Oxford Twp. Trustee President Norma Pennock told the Journal-News the township is now authorized to sign the participation agreement in the settlement, joining a plethora of regional jurisdictions all looking to get their share, including Oxford, Middletown, Monroe, Liberty Twp., Fairfield and Hamilton.

Some of those municipalities have already begun receiving payment installments, including the City of Oxford, though the overall amounts of those payments have generally gone undisclosed thus far. However, some cities have been more forthcoming, including Hamilton, which expects to receive north of $1.3 million; and Fairfield, which expects about $500,000 from the settlement.

Pennock said it is not yet known how large Oxford Twp.’s slice of the pie will be.

“There isn’t anything particular about our history as a township or our experience as a township that qualifies us; what qualifies us is that we are a jurisdiction,” Pennock explained.

Pennock said the funds Oxford Twp. receives from the settlement will have restricted applicable uses and that the township will carefully track where the money goes.

“It’s going to have to be directly related to opioid addiction prevention or helping people who have the addiction, it can’t just be randomly spent on township business,” Pennock said.

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