Most Virginia localities were expected Friday to start receiving their share of the first payment in an opioid settlement, about $4.1 million split across the 133 localities. Additionally, Virginia’s Opioid Abatement Authority (OAA) will receive about $9.9 million, Attorney General Jason Miyares announced.

“I’m thrilled to announce that after a long period of waiting, the payments to Virginia’s Opioid Abatement Authority and to Virginia’s localities under this landmark settlement are on the way. Now, Virginia communities will be able to take actionable steps to fight back against the opioid epidemic, knowing that more help is on the way,” Miyares said in a press release.

The $15 million is the first round of payment for Virginia out of about $530 million from the settlement first announced in July 2021 with Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson. The total national settlement was $26 billion spread across 52 states and territories, and in February the companies announced that there was enough participation from states and localities to move forward with the settlement.

As part of the terms of the settlement, the companies were required to block the fulfillment of suspicious opioid orders or stop selling opioids altogether while providing data to regulators and watchdogs for oversight.

Most of the money will go to the OAA, which funds agencies’ and localities’ efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Most localities are receiving less than one percent of the funds, although some larger localities receive more, including Henrico County, which gets 4.473 percent; Fairfax County, which gets 8.672 percent; and Richmond City, which gets 4.225 percent.

Senator Todd Pillion (R-Washington), Chairman of the Opioid Abatement Authority, said in the Friday release, “The opioid settlement represents the largest investment in local government in Virginia history and we are excited that these funds are now becoming available for localities to implement a bold strategy to remediate and abate the opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth.”

This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.