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‘The clock’s ticking’: Yost calls on communities to join settlement agreement against opioid distributors

The “OneOhio” settlement agreement is a statewide effort to resolve litigation between Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost provided an update on a settlement agreement in connection to a legal battle with three large opioid distributors on Friday. 

The “OneOhio” settlement agreement is a statewide effort to resolve litigation between Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen. 

The three distributors and Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $26 billion nationwide settlement for their roles in the opioid epidemic last month. 

Under the settlement, Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen would fund roughly $809 million in treatment and prevention programs across Ohio. 

Of those funds, 55% would directly go toward a foundation that benefits Ohio communities. An additional 30% would directly fund local community recovery programs, while 15% would go toward the state of Ohio for legal representation purposes. 

According to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, those funds will only become available if 95% of Ohio communities opt-in to the deal. 

"Right now, we're at a point of deal or no deal," said Yost during Friday's press conference. "The companies, frankly, are not interested in a deal that leaves lawsuits out there hanging." 

According to Yost, roughly 86% of the state's population has agreed to participate as of Friday morning. The City of Columbus announced its participation on Thursday.   

"That's not enough," said Yost. "There is no deal... yet." 

Yost emphasized that all local communities must be on board in order to move forward. 

"We desperately need this money on the ground, combatting the epidemic," said Yost. "The clock's ticking." 

The deadline to opt-in is Friday, Aug. 20. 

RELATED: Columbus agrees to participate in $809 million settlement agreement with state against opioid distributors

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