Federal Lawmakers Take First Steps Toward Oversight of $50 Billion in Opioid Settlements


Some members of Congress are demanding federal oversight of billions in opioid settlements, with some state and local governments using it to plug budget holes rather than fight the addiction crisis. Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Rep. Ashley Hinson have introduced legislation to ensure funds are used for treatment, prevention, education, and enforcement related to the crisis. Settlement funds are from drug manufacturers and distributors accused of fueling the crisis. Most settlements specify states must spend at least 85% of the payouts to address the epidemic, but a lack of transparency has made it difficult to determine if funds are being used appropriately. The proposed bill lacks consequences for non-compliance but aims to put officials on notice that the use of settlement funds is under scrutiny.

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