Counties are making a lot of progress in joining the nationwide opioid settlements with the three major pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, which could bring up to $613 million to Tennessee over 18 years to address the opioid crisis. However, many counties still need to take the final steps of turning in their participation forms. For the settlements to become effective, a critical mass of cities and counties must join the agreements by January 2, 2022.
Three steps are needed for joinder:
1. Register your county on the national settlement website here. You should have received a written notice regarding the settlements, which contained a county-specific registration code. If you need your county’s code, please contact me. Registering is purely administrative, it does not sign a county up for the settlements. Once you have registered, you will receive three participation forms, one for each agreement:
- A form for the settlement agreement with the three national distributors (AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., and McKesson Corporation).
- A form for the settlement agreement with J&J and its subsidiary Janssen.
- A form for the Tennessee State-Subdivision Opioid Abatement Agreement, which sets out the allocation of abatement funds from these two settlements and payments under bankruptcy plans for certain opioid manufacturing companies.
2. Get the appropriate approval to join the two settlements and the Tennessee State-Subdivision Opioid Abatement Agreement. A model resolution has been prepared for the convenience of cities and counties and is on the national website and the state-specific website. (It will need to be modified slightly for each city and county.)
3. Sign the separate participation forms for each of the three agreements. You will be given an option to sign onto the three participation forms electronically through DocuSign or by printing them out and then uploading the forms. (The processing of the participation forms is quicker if you electronically sign through DocuSign.) Only when the participation forms have been submitted will the county be counted as having joined the agreements.
If you are having difficulty with registering or submitting the participation forms, please contact Chris Dunbar with the Tennessee Attorney General’s office: phone: 615-741-3519, email: [email protected].
The settlement agreements, the Tennessee State-Subdivision Opioid Abatement Agreement, an executive summary, FAQs, one-page overviews for counties and cities, and additional information can be found on the state-specific website. Information on the joinder process and additional materials about the settlements can be found on the national settlement website.
- David Connor, TCSA Executive Director