220 people died from opioid overdoses in Okaloosa County between 2016 and 2020. It makes each death worth a little over $2,500 – according to an agreement between the State of Florida and Walgreens that was made earlier this year. The total compensation to be distributed to Okaloosa County: $500,000 over the next 18 years.
Each opioid death in Okaloosa County will cost the pharmacy chain $126.26 per year until 2040.
Therefore, without any negotiating power or other recourse, the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners voted on May 17th to accept the money to support recovery programs for people in Okaloosa County currently fighting addiction
According to the State of Florida’s Statistics, first responders have used Naxalone or another drug to stop a drug overdose a total of 2,356 times.
Law enforcement made 12,802 arrests for drug-related crimes between 2015-2021. That is enough arrests to put 5% of Okaloosa County residents into jail once.
The Okaloosa County Jail currently has a capacity limit of 594. Rarely does it drop below its occupancy limit.
This settlement is just one of many lawsuits pending over opioid addiction in the United States.
In his joint post-commission-meeting Facebook live with Commissioner Nathan Boyles, Commissioner Paul Mixon, a Crestview pastor, and former Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputy said that this litigation settlement is one of 40 or so lawsuits that may be settled with pharmaceutical companies over the issues stemming from the over-prescription of opioids in the last two decades.
Currently, according to this Opioid Lawsuit Tracker eight companies have settled out of court with the State of Florida in Opioid-related damages lawsuits. Drugmakers Endo and Teva Pharmaceuticals settled with Florida for $242 million. Distributors Johnson and Johnson, McKesson, Amerisource Bergen and Cardinal Health have settled for about $1.6 Billion.
The total amount Walgreens settled with the State of Florida for was $683 Million. CVS, another pharmacy settled with Florida for $484 Million.
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